Your house is your biggest asset, so you should do as much as you can to avoid a hiring disaster. The Angie's List Report tells you why the questions you ask are just as important as what you need done when hiring a contractor.
Gordon Welt enjoys the deck he had installed over the summer, but he did a lot of work before his deck project ever began. Welt sought bids from five contractors before picking the company he felt was right for the job.
"I knew he was experienced, and some of the terms he was using were very easily conveyed to me as a customer and being able to get our ideas on paper before he even left to do the estimate," Welt said.
Angie Hicks, who is the founder of Angie's List, recommends that you meet all potential contractors face-to-face and prepare a list of questions to ask every contractor you interview specific to your project.
"When interviewing your contractor, you want to use some of the same skills you might use when interviewing someone for a job at work," Hicks mentioned. "You want to ask open-ended questions because you'll learn a lot more about how they'll handle situations. One of my favorite questions is to ask them about a job that didn't go right and how they fixed it."
It's also important to ask questions that go beyond the basics of the project, Hicks added. Make sure you have a good rapport with the contractor. That can make communicating easier, especially when it comes to changes or problems in the middle of the job.
"The most important questions homeowners can ask when hiring a contractor is whether they trust their gut instinct."
"To me, being involved. It's just like your car, everything else, it's an investment," Welt said. "If you're not involved, you don't have an excuse for the product you get at the end."
Remember to always hire a licensed and insured contractor. Also, make sure you have a number that you can always get in contact with them if something goes wrong.