Before you hire a contractor to work on your home improvement project, you’re going to want to make sure you’re choosing the best one with all the necessary permits! This is your home, after all, and you are making a significant investment. You will want to ensure the contractor you invest in is vetted and ready to tackle your project in the best way possible.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure to ask them these important questions.
What is the size of your company?
When hiring a general contractor make sure you know the size of their company. This will help give an idea of how big they are and what their capabilities look like. If one doesn’t answer this question, it might be a sign that they are taking on more than they can handle or using subcontractors. Not to say subcontractors are bad, but a company with an internal team can be vetted much more easily, and the quality of work is often more consistent.
What is your company’s focus?
When you are trying to find the right contractor to trust with your project, identifying their specialty or focus can make the decision much easier. This can also give you an idea of their capabilities and let you know if they are a good fit for what you need to be done on your specific project. Watch out for companies steering around these questions or saying they can do work that you don’t see listed on their website services. If they don’t specialize in the type of work you need to have done, look for someone who does.
How long have you been in business?
A younger contractor may not have enough experience yet, but someone who has been around longer will most likely make sure everything gets done right! And if there’s something wrong with the job, they’ll want to fix it so others won’t find out about problems when hiring them again later. If needed you can contact the business bureau and verify the starting date of the company in question
What are your hours of operation?
They might not be open Monday through Friday from eight to five, or they may only work on one project at a time. This is important because it can help you figure out when the contractor will have time for this job and if there will be any conflicts with their schedule later down the line. Plus, it can be helpful to know when they are available for questions via phone or email. A contractor who is hard to get a hold of can really delay the length of a project.
How much do you charge per hour/per day/per project?
You want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for in terms of quality service! There shouldn’t be an hourly rate higher than $150-$200 for these types of jobs. Make sure to also ask for a quote in writing, so it’s easier to keep track of what you’re paying for and that you’re getting what you pay for. Your Contractor should provide free project cost information for your home renovation project.
What are your payment schedule terms?
You should ask, “when do I have to pay, and how much upfront is required as a down payment?” A good contractor will give you the estimated costs with all the details before starting work on a project. To avoid scam artists make sure they don’t ask for more than half the total cost upfront. You might also want to negotiate if they request all or most of the fees in advance because this could be risky if there are any delays or issues down the road. Or if they discover the cost of the job is actually less than estimated, and you end up paying more.
If money is tight some contractors can arrange financing options and on the other hand, several contractors will offer discounts if you can pay cash.
How long does each job take?
This can help determine when things should start and finish and establish expectations based on other clients’ experiences (including yours). And when they give you an estimate with completion date, it should be as close to their personal experience of how long the project will take. You should also verify how many general contractors will be on the job site during the entire project.
Are you licensed and insured?
If so, does it include liability insurance and workers’ compensation in case anything happens while working around my home or business? Injuries during the project can end up making your final payment more than expected. General contractors should have their own coverage for mishaps and issues that arise. Plus, a licensed contractor has gone through rigorous steps to get that license and certification that you can rest assured they know what they’re doing and are legitimate.
How many crew members do you currently employ, and how much experience does each employee have with this type of work (e.g., roofing, plumbing)?
This can determine their capabilities and whether or not they’re a good fit for what needs doing on this project. The most important thing to look out for when hiring any contractor is that they are upfront about all the details from start to finish before anything starts happening! For example, if one doesn’t answer these questions, then it might be because there’s something wrong with them, or they don’t want to reveal certain parts of the process. Trust your gut on this one.
Other Tips for Vetting Contractors to Hire
Asking the right questions is essential to finding the right team for the job, but those come a little closer to the decision process. You can do a few other things during the early stages of your search that can help narrow down the overwhelming list of contractors available.
- Ask friends for recommendations. Sometimes a friend or family member has gotten home improvements done by a company they swear by. Word of mouth can be some of the most honest and best ways to find a good contractor.
- Look for contractors who share pictures of their previous projects so you can see the quality of work they’ve done so far.
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau for reviews or any complaints against local contractors.
- Look up customer reviews online and read what people say about working with specific contractors. For example, 5 star reviews are great, but pay close attention to lower-star reviews and look for themes such as a contractor receiving multiple poor reviews because they were hard to get ahold of.
- Have all of your details laid out and get estimates from multiple contractors. Then, if you find one contractor that gives you a bid much higher or much lower than the average estimates, heed with caution.
- Get everything in writing in your early correspondence with contractors. You can tell a lot about a contractor based on how attentive and customer-focused they are as well.
- Ask for testimonials from past clients.
Finding the Best Contractor for Your Home
Overall, if you follow these tips and ask these questions early on, you should have no issue finding the right contractor for the job. Or, you can always just call Apple Roofing. We humbly declare that our customer-centric approach and high-quality materials and workmanship will ensure you get the right fit for your home. We do roof repairs and total roof replacements for both residential and commercial buildings. Get started with Apple today!