Seven Questions for Contractors

BY  ON OCTOBER 16, 2019

By Pete Youngs

  1. How long have you been in business in this area? This is important because you want them to be established. In many cases, you may run into a company that is new and you will have trouble getting older references and such. If they have a good history in the area, you are less likely to have someone take your money and run. I like a 5 year history or more.
  2. How many workers will be on the job daily? I want to make sure that there are enough bodies to do the job in a timely manner as well as not have half a crew on most occasions. If the job is small, it’s ok to have a couple of workers only. On bigger jobs, I want manpower as we know time is money. Also make sure who you are dealing with will be on the job too. If they won’t, they probably hired the work out to subs and are making money off you.
  3. Are they licensed, bonded and insured? I do prefer that they have this in place however, I regularly hire small jobs that the individuals don’t have it. In my SWAT system (secret ways and techniques) as well as my famous Rehab 101 system I have a 225 document forms cd. In this, I require all workers to sign my Waiver Of Liability as well as my Lien Release form to protect myself against injury or property damage. Many times I will hire workers from new home construction sites to do “side work” for me. I know that if they work for a builder full time, they must have a license and insurance or they would not be hired by them.
  4. Have they had any complaints locally or with the B.B.B. ? I will overlook a minor complaint or two provided that they have been resolved. When you file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, they contact the party and give them the opportunity to make it right or work it out with the consumer and if worked out there is no need for alarm. If they have multiples and they are long lasting and not resolved, I will not use them.
  5. Will they supply you with 4 to 5 references? This is important because everyone will have 3 good references to give but sometimes these are friends or relatives and will say good things anyway. I want number 4 to be someone that they went back after being paid to fix a problem or touch up. This insures integrity in the company or contractor that they stand behind their work. Number 5 is I ask them who their material suppliers are. I can call the paint store or material supply yard and ask them if they have had complaints there. Like if Sherwin Williams was a supplier, I would call and ask them about any complaints and also if they would recommend the contractor.
  6. Can I use my contract or do they use their own? Once again, my 225 forms cd has all the contracts and such that it protects me as well as being fair to both sides. You want to spell out the pay schedule, such as paying as work is completed or “draws”. This way you are not paying for work that is not done yet. Do you need to pay a material deposit? Use the term Balance Paid On Completion to make sure all work is done. Hold back 10% until a punch out list is completed to your satisfaction. Otherwise you may end up with an unfinished job.
  7. Will you supply me a written warranty for labor and also a copy of the manufacturers warranty from the materials? All materials such as paint, carpet, roofing and so on have written warranties on the labels or description. Make sure they will give you this info in writing as part of your contractual agreement so if anything goes wrong you are covered. Remember to put any and all details even if as an addendum to the contractors paperwork no matter how petty it may sound. Your contract is your protection as well as the workers proof that they should be paid for their work. It works both ways so pay attention to detail. You will see many more articles and advice if you keep returning to and research My new SWAT system and award winning Rehab 101.


Pete Youngs