Checking a contractor’s references is an important step in hiring the best professional for the job. Just as a company would never hire someone without calling up their references, you should also be sure to ask former clients of your contractor exactly how the experience was. When you’re provided with your contractor’s reference list, you want to make the most of the opportunity. Here is how to check a contractor’s references by asking the right questions.
1. What Work Did the Contractor Do for You?
You first need to know how comparable the reference’s work was to your own. If the type of work is too different, then their experience with the contractor is less relevant to you. However, this reference is still important since you can learn about how the contractor treats their customers.
If the projects seem too different to you, then it’s a good idea to ask your contractor for a reference whose experience is more comparable.
2. What Challenges Came Up?
This question is a great way to get right to the heart of the reference’s experience. This question should encourage them to come forward with information that doesn’t always paint the contractor in the best light. What happened is important; how the contractor handled it matters too. So be sure to ask what they did to rectify the situation or make it right.
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3. Did the Contractor Stay on Budget?
Some fluctuation in the budget is normal, and a quality contractor should plan for these problems and help you keep an eye on potential areas where things may increase. Especially when there are unexpected problems with the condition of your home, increases may not be the contractor’s fault. But there are situations where the contractor is squarely to blame for budget issues that you should look out for.
4. Was the Work Done on Time?
Something that may increase your budget and become a huge hassle is if the work is not done on time. Contractors who are consistently on time with projects do so with great skill and planning. So, ask the reference if the contractor was on time for their project and, if not, how long they went over. Longer delays should be explained!
5. How Did the Staff Treat You?
When working with a contracting company, you’re working with multiple people. Everyone employed by the company should treat you and your home with respect. If the reference had a problem with one of the employees, find out how it was addressed.
We suggest you ask those you want to hire for references and take the time to ask these questions.
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