5 Important Questions to Ask Contractors

questions to ask a contractor

Before you hire a contractor, there are certain questions you need to ask before you begin working with a certain company. Here are a few questions that will give you a better understanding for the potential contractor you want to hire.

Can You Itemize Your Bid?

This is an important question to ask, as it allows you to fully understand just how much the project will cost. Oftentimes, contractors tend to give you an estimate that is the base price or bottom line, which means that the price will only go up from there. This is a tricky way for the project to seem more reasonable at first, but then as things like materials and other services get added on, the price point keeps rising. By itemizing the bid, you’re able to see exactly what is being spent where and how much it will cost for certain items.

Is the bid a fixed price or estimate?

In a similar vein to having the bid itemized, it’s equally important to know whether the contractor is giving you a fixed price bid or an estimated bid. If the bid is estimated, that could serve as a warning flag. This could potentially mean that there are certain variables and costs that they’re unsure of the price. When hiring a contractor, you want to eliminate as many unknown variables as possible. A fixed price bid will ensure that the work you’re paying for is written down and calculated for the exact amount that you need for the project.

How Long Have you Been In Business and In the Area?

It’s a simple question, but one that definitely needs to be answered. A company’s reputation is not just a bragging right, it also states the level of success they’ve had in the past. If you work with a company that’s only been in business for a few years, you need to make sure that all of their previous clients have been satisfied with the work. Especially that contractor has only been in Chicago for a year or so. Pick a company that has plenty of years of experience and that has been working in Chicago for awhile, so that they know where to go for certain materials and are in favorable terms for getting permits passed and proper licensing.

Do You Subcontract Your Work?

While it’s not usually talked about, there are plenty of contractors that will subcontract the work. This means that they’ll find someone else to do a good amount of the work you paid them to do and make them do it. Make sure to find out if the contractor you’ve hired is subcontracting the work, and what parts of the work they will be doing so.

Do You Have Previous Projects To Look At?

A contractor can talk about all of the past builds and projects they’ve worked on as much as they want, but that doesn’t mean as much as proof. Make sure you ask the contractor if you can see pictures of their previous projects. This will give you a better understanding of how good they are at their job and whether or not they are simply all talk.