8 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

Right Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

Have you ever wondered what to ask when hiring a contractor? If you need work done around your house to get it ready for market, do your homework before hiring a contractor. A poorly done renovation can cost you big time, so you need to know that the person you’re hiring is up to the job. Here are a few questions you should ask when hiring a contractor to help ensure you get the best person for the job.

Question #1:  “How long have you been in business?”

Nothing can replace experience. Especially in home improvement and home renovations, the longer a contractor has been in business, the better your chances that they’re good at what they do. It’s hard to stay in business if your work is consistently sub-par, so a long, reliable track record is definitely something to look for.

Question #2:  “Can I have some references?”

Looking at a contractor’s previous work or reading testimonials from past clients can give you a lot of insight into how good they really are. You also want to be sure that they’ve done projects like yours successfully in the past, so don’t be afraid to ask for specific examples. It is a good idea to take your time and contact all or most of their previous clients to get an idea on the level of expertise and professionalism of the contractor.

Question #3:  “Can I get a detailed written estimate?”

A good contractor won’t balk at giving you a clearly written estimate that includes any factors that could affect the price of the job. While it’s not practical to expect an accurate, exact figure, you should at least have a very good idea of what your final cost should be.

Question #4:  “Do you have WSIB (Workplace Safety Insurance Board) coverage? Business liability insurance? Is your business licensed?”

A responsible contractor will make sure that you are protected in case of an accident during the project. Ask to see a copy of the contractor’s insurance policy so you know that you’re protected before work begins. If the contractor is not licensed and insured you should walk away. Hiring a contractor without WSIB and business liability insurance is dangerous because you are accepting liability for injuries occurring on your property as well as damage to your home.

Question #5:  “What’s the timeline for completion?”

You need to have a specific timeline for the job you are hiring people for. Occasionally unforeseen issues can mess with the work schedule, but in general, you need to get specific goals for specific dates. That way you’ll know where you are with the overall progress of the job.

 Question #6:  “Who will be responsible for cleaning?”

This is a tricky question. Will your home be cleaned at the end of every day’s work, or will this be left until the completion of the work? Some jobs can create a huge amount of dust, dirt and debris. Will you be able to safely and comfortably live in your home while a renovation is ongoing? Will the rest of your home be protected from the mess the renovation will create?

Question #7:  “How can I reach you if there’s a problem?”

Problems can occur when you least expect them, so you need to be able to reach your contractor easily at all times. It seems like a small thing, but a contractor who’s hard to reach could be a pain to work with.

Question #8:  “What about the after service support?”

This question is often skipped by the homeowners and real estate agents. Reputable companies provide service support. They stand by their work. If there is an issue with the job they will come back to fix it. But this conversation needs to take place before you sign a quote or a contract with them for the job.


For more tips on dealing with contractors and preparing your house to be sold, visit Prep’n’Sell today.