Regardless of the project you are planning for your home, selecting the right contractor is the key to achieving successful results.
One of the most important steps you can take toward hiring the right contractor is to take the time to interview all of the potential clients and to learn more about what each has to offer to you.
Still, in order to get the most out of the interview process, it is essential to avoid these three big mistakes commonly made by homeowners when interviewing contractors.
Mistake #1: Failure to Plan the Right Questions
The single biggest mistake some homeowners make when interviewing contractors is failing to ask the right questions. Before you begin the interview process, you should create a list of questions that you will ask every contractor that you interview. Some key questions you should be sure to ask include;
- How long have you been in business?
- Who will supervise the progress of the job?
- When will the project be started and what kind of schedule will you put in place?
- What approach will you use to complete this project?
- How is your company organized?
- Is your company a full-service firm or a specialty firm?
- Do you offer design services?
- Do you carry workmen’s compensation and liability insurance?
- Are your employees certified?
By asking these questions, you will be better able to determine if you are comfortable with how the company operates and the service it can provide. For example, if you are doing a small project, hiring a specialty contractor may be the best route.
If you have a large project in mind, on the other hand, you will want to hire a contractor who can handle the full scope of the project.
Furthermore, to ensure you are not held financially responsible if something goes wrong on the worksite, you need to be sure the contractor has workmen’s compensation and liability insurance in place.
Mistake #2: Failure to Ask Follow-Up Questions
Another mistake commonly made by homeowners when interviewing contractors is failure to ask follow-up questions. While it is important to have a list of questions available for each contractor, you should also be willing and able to ask follow-up questions.
For example, after asking who will be assigned to supervise the job, you should ask plenty of questions about that person and what you can expect from that person as your main point of contact.
Furthermore, in addition to asking about the anticipated schedule of completion for the project, you should also ask about the intended work schedule and how you will be notified of any delays or changes to the schedule.
In short, if you have any lingering doubts or questions, be sure to ask them before you bring the interview to an end.
Mistake #3: Failure to Document
To ensure you are able to fairly and accurately compare what each contractor has to offer it is also essential to avoid the third most common mistake: failure to document. As you interview each contractor, be sure to write down their answers to your questions and to carefully read through the written contracts they provide. By comparing what each contractor has to offer, you will be better prepared to choose the one that is right for you.