5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

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The contractors that you select can be the difference between a successful home improvement project and a project that completely flops. Whether you’re having a new roof installed, you’re putting new flooring in or you want to have your chimney resurfaced, the contractor you select to do the job will make a huge difference in the quality of the work and the time frame in which the project is completed – not to mention how happy you are with the final product.
In order to ensure you are choosing the best contractor for your home improvement project, here is a look at five questions that you should ask the prospective candidates before making your final decision regarding who to hire:

• Are you licensed?
No matter what type of contractor you are seeking to hire, the answer to this question should always be “yes” and don’t be afraid to ask to see a copy of the license. When assessing the license, make sure that it is from the state in which the contractor is doing the work and that it is not expired. If a prospective contractor is not licensed, nix the person and move onto the next candidate. After we purchased our new home, we wanted to have a new brick walkway and steps put in our front yard, so we hired a masonry contractor Suffolk who did a fabulous job.

• Are you insured?
A contractor should have, at the very least, general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. In the event that your home or your property is damaged while the contractor is performing his or her job, generally liability insurance will protect you. If the contractor gets injured while working on your property, workers’ compensation insurance will protect you from being held liable. If the contractor does not have these two types of insurance, that’s a red flag and you should move on to the next candidate. When we needed to facilitate new hire orientation for 30 new employees, we contacted an onboarding company to help and get them ready to start working.

• What is the history of your business?
Find out how long the prospective contractor has been in business and what type of experience he or she has working on a project like yours. You can also inquire about any professional organizations that the contractor belongs to, as this can further illustrate his or her level of professionalism and the quality of the work that he or she will perform.

• Is your work guaranteed?
A contractor should always guarantee the work that he or she does, and should provide you with a written document of that guarantee. The guarantee should be detailed and clear. Never, ever accept a verbal agreement. When I decided to put new shingles on our roof, I had a Long Island dumpster rental delivered to our house to make clean up easy.

• Can you detail your bid?
A lot of contractors give a bottom-line bid for a project, which can make it difficult for you to understand how the cost of the project is broken down and exactly what you are paying for. Ask the potential contractor to provide you with an itemized bid so that you can see exactly how the cost of the project is broken down and know exactly what you are paying for.

By asking these five questions, you can be sure that you are hiring the best contractor for your home improvement project.