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Are you planning a construction project soon? Maybe a home improvement project? Or perhaps you have a business project that you want to focus on? Whatever your project, it is imperative that you choose the right contractor for the job. Learning how to choose the right contractor means doing some research before you hire one.
So how do you make sure you are asking the right questions when looking for a good contractor? You need to make sure to focus on several highlights (we will cover those later), and specific questions in regards to your particular project.
Choosing The Right Contractor
You cannot hire a random person off your friend’s list or from an anonymous CL ad to do your project.
To safely and successfully have your construction project completed, you need to search for the following things during your search for a contractor.
Is Your Contractor Experienced in the Work You Need?
Before you decide on a contractor, be sure that the person you want to hire has experience in the specific job that you want done. Many project coordinators can take on any job that they are licensed for, but they may not have any experience in doing what you are in search of.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I want a beginner doing a job that I am paying thousands of money for.
Is Your Contractor Is Licensed, Bonded, And Insured?
Is Your Contractor Is Licensed, Bonded, And Insured? This is perhaps the most crucial question you need to ask in your search for a contractor.
You need to answer this question because any project coordinator that you hire should be licensed, bonded, and insured. In case you are wondering why this is important, here is a little explanation of how this will benefit you.
What exactly is a contractor’s bond?
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A bond is a protective measure for consumers. If a contractor doesn’t complete the job they are hired for, fails to pay for permits or building supplies, the bond will ensure that the consumer isn’t stuck with these expenses.
When researching contractors, be sure to ask prospective workers for their certification and bond number. You should call the surety company to be sure that it is legit and for the appropriate amount. State and local laws dictate the amount of the contractor’s bonds, but you want to know that you will be covered for what your project entails.
What is Contractor’s Insurance?
When hiring a contractor, you need to be sure that the contractor has liability insurance. The contractor’s liability insurance covers damage that may occur through the fault of the contractor. Liability insurance does not usually cover shoddy work (that is what the bond is for).
Also, if the contractor has employees, it is worth checking to see if they have appropriate worker’s compensation insurance so that you have no liability in any work-related injuries for the employees.
Before the project begins, be sure to call and verify coverages with the insurance companies and have them sign a contract. Companies like Axxerion offer CLM software that can streamline the whole process. Hopefully, the business you choose uses a service like this.
Ensuring that your contractor is insured can make the difference in whether or not you are satisfied with your project.
What are the Licensing Requirements Required?
Before beginning your project, research the licensing laws that are required in your state, county, and city. Knowing this information is vital so that you can ensure that you are choosing the right contractor.
Many states, counties, and cities require licensing to be insured or bonded, but don’t rely on either of those, in particular, check all of these things.
Taking on a construction project is daunting and stressful.
I completely understand that the idea of spending time to research and find an insured, bonded, and appropriately licensed contractor may seem like the last thing you want to do, but I promise it will save you time and stress in the long run.
Check Reviews Online and Ask to See Samples of Work
These days you can find reviews online for just about any business. From the BBB, Facebook, Yelp, and Google, there are many reputable sources to look for reviews from former customers.
I rarely buy anything over $50 without looking up reviews on it, when signing up for a project that will cost thousands of dollars, it only makes sense to research other’s experiences with the contractor.
Better yet scout out actual samples of the contractor’s previous work. For example, if you are needing your chimney repaired ask the contractor to give you references you can call where they did similar work. Then you can ask the previous clients what they thought and to see the work in person.
Seeing samples can help you get a true idea of the skill level of your chosen contractor.
Trust Your Gut
No, this may not be a very scientific way of doing it, but you truly should trust your gut when it comes to hiring a contractor. Typically when you hire a contractor, you are around them for a significant amount of time. When you are going to be around someone for a long time, it is important to feel comfortable with them.
Good luck with your search and your project!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.