Updated: Jun 29, 2020
What are good questions to ask a contractor?
When you are hiring a contractor it is important to ask plenty of questions upfront so you can property compare them properly. It is also important to interview multiple contractors to ensure that you are getting the best deal.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
It is important to have a contractor who has been around the block a few times. Hiring the newest contractor can sometimes be cheaper but they might not be able to handle unexpected surprises or accidentally do something wrong that could cost you more.
ARE YOU LICENSED IN COLORADO?
General Contractors need to be licensed at the municipal level to complete work. Plumbers and electricians register with the state of Colorado however they generally need to present their license yearly to the municipal area to be able to pull permits in Denver. You want to hear an outstanding yes!
DO YOU CARRY WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES?
If the contractor does not hold workman's compensation you may be on the hook if someone is injured on the job which could end up costing you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some jobs have exceptions for this in Colorado such as those doing less than $2,000 per year or independent contractors with no employees.
DO YOU HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE OR ARE YOU SURETY BONDED?
If the company messes up and accidentally breaks something in your home, you want them to have insurance to help cover that cost. The difference between liability insurance and bonded is that an insurance company is paid on a monthly or yearly basis and will pay out if there is an issue. If the company is bonded, they have put aside a set of money with a surety company which is their money that could pay out if there is an issue that would arise.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?
Knowing the preferred means of communication can help ensure you get a timely response. It can also help know the legitimacy of the company if it only has a P.O. box.
WHAT IS AN ITEMIZED COST ESTIMATE OF THE PROJECT?
Having a written estimate can help reduce any future disputes about the price of the project. It can also help you know exactly what you are paying for and if something goes higher than expected you can verify exactly what occurred and was it unreasonable to estimate that in the first place.
What is the estimated time for this project to be completed?
Knowing the approximate time for the project can help you understand if something seems to be going off. It also holds them accountable if there are multiple projects that are being worked on and if they push yours off. If it is a large project set milestones and understand the time it will take to achieve each one.
What should you not say to a contractor?
When working with a contractor it is important to keep some knowledge to yourself to ensure a truthful transaction.