Seven Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

Before you go out and hire someone to do work for you on your home or at your business, there are seven critical questions you need to ask of them (or yourself) first:

  1. Do they have a permanent place of business?
  2. Do they have proper and adequate insurance?
  3. Are they a member of a trade association in good standing?
  4. How long have they been in business?
  5. What is their track record for handling complaints?
  6. What is their workmanship warranty?
  7. Can they meet your project-specific needs?

Having a permanent place of business gives them credibility.  It shows they ahve substance and are serious about doing business with you or any other client.

They should be able to produce proof of insurance or certification of insurance.  If they can’t you and they are not protected in case of injury, loss or death.

Being a member of a trade association shows they comply with ethical and accepted industry guidelines.  They are recognized by their peers to be professional.

Being in business for a significant amount of time is a judgment of stability.

How they handle complaints and deal with customers will mirror how you may have to deal with them.  Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau.

Warranties and support after the sale or installation is critical for your happiness and their success. What do they offer in terms of replacement parts or materials or rework?

Your project may have specific requirements:

  • Do they comply with local ordinances?  That is, do they know permitting processes for your locality?
  • Do they have a good selection of products?
  • Can they share manufacturer’s specifications with you?
  • What is their clean up policy?
  • What are their payment terms?
  • Do they conduct preliminary and periodic inspections?
  • Lots to think about but ultimately will result in your satisfaction and safety.

The Grass Queen