Contractors are entrusted with a wide range of important tasks. As a result, if your contractor makes a mistake, you could end up suffering enormous losses, whether in the form of further costs, exceeded schedules, or something even more serious. To minimize the chances of such unexpected contingencies, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right contractor, which is why you should ask them some important questions before hiring them.
Here are 10 questions that you need to ask your contractor if you are thinking about hiring them:
How Can We Communicate?
Two-way communication is critical for a successful relationship between the client and the contractor. As a result, you need to arrange for ways to contact your contractor and vice versa so that you can keep up-to-date about the task that you have entrusted to them.
Could You Itemize Your Price?
You need to compare different prices from different contractors in order to get the best deals. By asking your contractor to itemize their prices, you make it that much easier for you to compare what they are charging for what service, while also testing their willingness to be open and transparent.
Are Your Prices Estimates?
Be cautious around contractors that are either unable or unwilling to come up with a fixed price for their services because you want to know for sure what you will be paying for what you will be getting. If they can’t offer a fixed price because of insufficient information, give them a chance to collect that information before using it to come up with a fixed price.
How Long Have You Been Running This Business?
Established businesses tend to have more expertise, more experience, and more contacts that can be put to use ensuring better outcomes for their clients. Furthermore, their continuing existence stands as testament to their successes, which should come as reassuring news to their potential clients. This doesn’t mean that new contractors can’t be trusted, just that they tend to be riskier because there is less information that can be found about them.
Do You Have Testimonials?
Good contractors will have testimonials from their past clients, which can provide useful information about whether they are right for your needs or not. Generally speaking, you should pay the most attention to past clients who had similar needs and circumstances as yours since they can provide you with the best insight. If possible, you should seek out the people who provided the testimonials to speak with them in person because testimonials can be faked with casual ease.
Who Are Your Suppliers?
A contractor’s suppliers are another great source of information about their business practices. After all, if they cannot fulfill their obligations to their suppliers, there is no reason to believe that they can fulfill their obligations to their clients. In contrast, if they are reliable when it comes to their suppliers, chances are good that they are reliable when it comes to the rest of their operations as well.
Can I Meet the People Who Will Be On the Worksite?
If you are using a contractor, you are going to have to put a lot of trust into relative strangers. As a result, you want to meet with said individuals in order to get a good idea of their personalities as well as learn their faces. This way, you can get a better idea of whether they can be trusted or not as well as be able to tell when someone unauthorized is on your premises, which is important because worksites are a common target for thefts and other crimes.
How Will You Protect My Premises?
A lot of the tasks entrusted to contractors can cause problems for their surroundings. For example, if your contractor is going to have to demolish part of the building in order to complete the task entrusted to them, carelessness could cause your possessions to become covered in dirt, dust, and other debris, which can be a serious nuisance as well as a serious problem under certain circumstances. This means that good contractors will have considered the potential for such problems as well as ways with which to prevent them from coming to pass.
How Do We Handle Changes?
No contractor can predict what will happen over the course of a project 100 percent of the time, meaning that changes to their work are a common part of the contractor experience. To minimize the complications that can arise from such events, you need to agree beforehand about how such changes will be handled, thus giving you a way to resolve them in an efficient and effective instead of becoming bogged down in needless contention. Simply put, you do not want to antagonize the people who will be entrusted with something so important, which is why you want to prevent such things by being fully prepared.
Are You Fully-Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
Good contractors will be licensed, bonded, and insured. Licensed means that they have the right expertise and experience for their work; bonded means that they have a way to compensate their clients in case something goes wrong; and insured means that they have coverage from an insurance company if something unexpected happens on your premises. Although licensed, bonded, and insured should be considered no more than minimal requirements for contractors, they are nonetheless a useful way to separate potentially reliable contractors from those who are completely and utterly untrustworthy.
Of course, contractors might not be the most reliable sources of information about themselves. As a result, you should seek confirmation for their claims by following up on their answers as well as seeking out reports, reviews, and testimonials, which should provide you with a more complete picture of their capabilities. So long as you remember to exercise the appropriate care and caution, you should have no problems securing the results that you deserve without either breaking your budget or exceeding your schedule in the process.