Question From a Poster

Qualifying a Contractor

” What are some good questions to ask when interviewing?” -Heidi

As I am being considered to construct on ones largest investments, I have become discouraged at times. As I share my knowledge from years of experience to a prospect, it sometimes gets discounted when price comes to the table. “Your much more professional than the other, but the other quote is considerably less than your quote”. Yes, that is a actual quote from a homeowner needing their interior painted. Although a important factor, put price aside when qualifying a contractor. That low price can be enticing, but may turn into deep regret. Qualify your prospect on all aspects. Are they a legitimate contractor? Are they knowledge in their industry? Do they have the experience? If its a no with any of these question, then they may not be qualified. Get involved and ask some questions.

Gulp, do you carry Workers Compensation?” Why is it so hard to ask? It’s your property, your at risk if the contractor has employees. If a employee falls off a ladder or cuts their hand, that employee can sue your homeowner insurance if the contractor is not properly insured. Don’t just ask but request a copy of their insurance certificate. This includes General Liability as well, a simple accident can result in damage to your property.

Are you licensed? Some states and counties require a contractor to be licensed. California contractors need to be licensed and bonded to perform work over $500 in their trade. Although licenses do not guarantee a qualified contractor, it does show their integrity to respects state laws. If they are willing to cheat the system, then they may be willing to cheat you.

What products do you use? Along with a estimate I provide product data pages (pds) of the products I would be using. This give you a true comparison of other estimates, I could be quoting $45 a gallon paint, the other could be $15 a gallon product. PDS’s gives a accurate description of the product along with recommended manufacture preparation and applications procedures. It’s a good way to verify if the contractor is maintaining proper procedures.

I asked this question on Paint Talk, a professional painting forum. CApainter had some good questions to consider.

-How long have they’ve been in business
-Are they in my community
-How many people can I expect to be working at my house
-How long will the job take approximately
-What are the job procedures, roughly
-What are the payment terms
-What are the product and service options

I hope this helps you in choosing the right contractor for your projects.