Questions to Ask a Contractor

5 questions to ask contractor BEFORE signing contractQuestions to Ask a Contractor

Even though we are in the midst of winter with short days and cold temperatures, this time of year is a great time to do a little research if you are considering a home project for the spring.  Contractors are typically slower during the winter months and have time to talk and answer questions about your project. 

I am frequently asked what are the most important things to ask a contractor before engaging in a home improvement project.  In my opinion there are 5 questions you should always ask any company before allowing them to work on your home, whether it is a repair or a full remodel.  If you are planning a project in 2014, I encourage you to ask any contractor you plan to interview for bids these 5 questions.

  1. Are they fully licensed/bonded/insured?  A reputable company should provide you with state licensing certificate number.  Ask if they carry full workman’s comp for their employees.  It says a lot about a company that takes care of it’s employees in case of a job related injury.  
  2. Does the company offer any type of warranty on workmanship?   At Cedarbrook, we have so much confidence in our skilled labor that we back each job with a 5 year workmanship guarantee.
  3. Does the contractor/company have a physical location/office?  A full service and well established contractor should have an office with staff that is readily available to answer questions, contact a job foreman or assist with billing.
  4. Ask for references that you can speak to.  If possible, ask for a couple of references from jobs that are more than 1 year old.  Speaking to an older client can provide insight into how well the project is holding up.
  5. Will the estimate include all project details and costs?  A quick sketch and price quote based on square footage is not a professional written estimate. Our design packages include a fully documented project scope, design plan and permit ready building plans. There are no hidden costs.  Beware of signing any contract that does not provide detailed project and site preparation information along with the cost of materials.

Price is not the only factor in determining the best contractor for your next project.  If you take a little time to do your homework, it will pay off with the finished project.  Good luck with your research.  If I can help you in any way, please contact me.
Have a safe and happy New Year and a prosperous 2014!
– Mike