Choosing a Contractor
Choosing the right right contractor is such an important decision and is often overlooked by many. Most people just gather a few estimates and go with whichever is lowest. This is not an effective way to choose your contractor. Think about it, this person will be in your home daily for weeks to months. And they will be doing a project that you hope will last for years to come. There should be a good working relationship between you and the contractor as well as a fair amount of trust and communication.
Choosing a contractor is a lot like buying a car. While intuition (how we feel on the test drive) is important, most important is how the contractor fits our personal needs and expectations.Here are a few general, but important things to discuss:
- What kind of insurance do they carry and how much? Is it the legal minimum? (Make sure it includes workers comp. If not, you will probably be the one opening your wallet when someone falls through your new skylight)
- Does the contractor maintain relationships with a team of contractors he regularly works with? (plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.)
- What do his past customers say about him?
- Who pulls the permits for the job?
- Will they include a termination clause?
- Does the contractor guarantee their work? For what timeframe?
- Are they honest, forthcoming, and trustworthy?
In addition to these key questions, there is other basic information you may want for your side by side comparison on how to choose a contractor .The form below is made to help assure you didn’t forget any important details. When the interviews are over, and the subsequent deliberation ensues, you will have all the information you need to make a decision.
After the Interview
It’s important to have enough information in front of you to compare apples to apples. If all the right questions were asked during your contractor meetings, the next part is easy. Let the information tell you what to do. A side by side comparison at this point, should give you all the information you need to choose the right contractor for you.
Want to make sure nothing is missed? Download our free Contractor Selection Tool-kit by clicking here.
siaosiNovember 23, 2016, 10:16 am REPLY
I did not know that choosing a contractor is so similiar to buying a car. I think the next time I get a contractor I will be asking a lot more questions. I do not think I ever thought to ask what kind of insurance my contractors have had in the past.
New Dimension Construction@siaosiDecember 13, 2016, 9:48 am REPLY
Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, your right the more information you can get the better. If your looking for a contractor in the near future we would love to help.
Jade BrunetMarch 24, 2017, 7:10 pm REPLY
It is good to know that one should find what kind of insurance the contractor has before hiring. Finding if they have the legal minimum would be beneficial. Another thing to consider would be to find a contractor who has worked on projects like yours before.
Moira BlytheMarch 28, 2018, 11:08 am REPLY
My husband and I are looking for a contractor that will help us with our home project. I appreciate your advice to find out what his past customers are saying about him, so that we can get an idea of how pleased people are with the work done!
New Dimension Construction@Moira BlytheMarch 28, 2018, 1:02 pm REPLY
Thank you for your interest in our blog. It’s always a good idea to look up perspective contracting companies online (Houzz, Yelp, Google) to see what others are saying about them. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to email us email@example.com!
Ava MurphyMay 17, 2018, 1:18 am REPLY
It was really nice that you suggested discussing with the contractor that you’re interested in if they can provide you a guarantee for their work. My parents are interested in hiring a construction service. They want to only deal with a contractor that can provide them the assurance that they can provide them a quality service, so it will make sense for them to find a contractor that offers a guarantee.
Jesse FordJuly 13, 2020, 4:48 pm REPLY
I like how you mentioned that it might not be the best strategy to gather a lot of bids and just hire the lowest-priced contractor. The owner of the ranch I work on is thinking of looking for an agriculture construction specialist because he’s considering building a new barn for the horses and other animals he owns since the current barn is old and worn down. It seems like a good idea for the ranch owner to think about hiring a reputable professional to help build a proper shed for the animals so they can be protected as best as possible.