We at SlugWire have been working in the home improvement business for generations as we’ve mentioned here before. And as an experienced home designer and home improvement contractor, we are always surprised at the lack of knowledge that new homeowners have. So to start things off, we are here to touch on the top 5 questions you need to ask your home improvement contractor.
Top Questions to Ask Your Contractor
Whether you are looking for replacement siding, replacement windows, a new roof, or even a stump to be ground down you need to understand how your decisions impact your home. All of these tasks require a high degree of experience and expertise – something they don’t teach in school, but rather by working under someone who has experience. Because of this it is crucial that you address the following questions before you sign or pay for anything.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
In addition to verifying a contractor’s license and insurance status, you need to understand the level of experience the company has. I always tell my friends and family to be wary of a new contractor especially if they are a significantly cheaper than the competition. There could be reasons for this price cut, and you could end up paying for this in the poor craftsmanship that the installation team provides.
Do your research ahead of time and collect at least three quotes from different businesses. Don’t fall into the trap of getting charmed by a good salesman, and reach out to other professionals in your area for a second opinion.
Do you have a contracting License?
I can’t speak for the town that you live in, but I know that in Michigan, that the state requires a license, which is different from city and unique to each county. Each of these licenses requires different training and it will be different for each of our readers location. So again, do you research!
As a homeowner you need to make sure that they are licenses and experienced in each of the different locations, and that the licenses are up to date.
Do you have References?
Even if a contractor has all the relevant credentials, it wouldn’t hurt to check out their reputation online. See what customers have said in the past, and look for recent reviews. I know that I have referred many of my neighbors to the window contractor that we used for our house because they were very professional and fast. If you’re reviewing on Google, you may be able to reach out to a customer and ask them for additional details on their install job.
Does the team working on my house have experience?
We all like to multitask, even business owners. Contracting companies will likely have many active jobs at a time. This isn’t a bad thing, only the truth to stay in business. With many open jobs, it’s important to verify the quality is high and consistent. This means making sure that the same people will be working on your project if required. Be sure to ask questions such as:
- Will the same team be at and working on my home each day?
- May I meet the project manager at the start of each day to check in on the progress?
- Do you work with subcontractors? Will subcontractors be working on my project?
- How do you verify the quality of work completed?
How can I get in touch with you?
After agreeing to an installation job for siding, window, your roof, or any part of your home make sure that you can contact the right people. Make sure that you know what you are paying for and who to contact if you are unhappy or unsure of any aspect of the installation process.
Never settle for the sales line, or the number you called to get an estimate. Ask for the project managers phone number, the owners number, or someone who can help correct a problem. Be sure to follow this up with what the best times are to reach the contact, because after all you want them to work with you and not against you. Ask if he/she prefers to be contacted with a phone call, a text, email, or even in person. Understand that he is busy with his life and his job, and ask for a reasonable timeline for him, or someone who can help you, to get back to your needs or concerns.