What Questions Should I Ask A Contractor?

We’ve heard it countless times from disappointed homeowners: “I wish I’d known what to ask before hiring a contractor.” Their frustration echoes a common truth: choosing the right contractor sets the stage for your remodeling project’s success. So, to help you avoid those “what ifs” and build your dream renovation with confidence, let’s revisit some key questions to ask before you choose a contractor.

1. Are you licensed?

  • Check for a license: Only work with licensed contractors. They should have a license from the Board of Building Regulations and Standards. This means they passed a test and know construction basics.
  • No license? No deal: Skip any unlicensed contractor, even if they offer a lower price. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Proof of license: Ask for a copy of their up-to-date license to verify. Don’t take their word for it.

In Massachusetts, projects also require specific licenses:

  • Construction Supervisor License
  • Home Improvement Contractor License

2. Do you have general liability insurance?

  • Protect your property: Make sure they have general liability insurance. This covers accidental damage they or their employees might cause to your property.
  • Get proof of coverage: Ask them to get their insurance agent to send you a copy of their general liability insurance certificate. Make sure you’re listed as the “Certificate Holder” on the document.

3. Do you have worker’s compensation insurance?

Make sure they have worker’s compensation insurance. This is required by law for all legitimate businesses.

  • Why it matters: If a worker gets hurt on your property and the contractor doesn’t have this insurance, you could be held responsible for their medical bills and lost wages.
  • Stay safe: Ask them to show you proof of their worker’s compensation coverage before starting any work.

4. Will you pull all the required building permits?

Permits are important because they guarantee adherence to building codes, which are in place for a reason. They ensure proper electrical wiring, sturdy structures, and overall safety for you and your family. You can check the state website for a list of required permits for specific projects. Red Flags to Watch Out For:

  • Contractor Avoids Permits: A reputable contractor knows and embraces the permit process. If they try to convince you to skip it, run! It’s a sign they might cut corners or use unsafe practices.
  • You’re Asked to Pull the Permit: This is never a good sign. Permits should be handled by the contractor who takes responsibility for the project.

    Also ensuring proper permitting can Insurance Peace of Mind: Many homeowner’s insurance policies require permits for major renovations to stay valid. No permit, no coverage!

5. Do you have a warranty your work?

Not all contractors offer warranties, and some may try to talk you out of them. Be wary of this, as it could be a red flag about the quality of their work.

Almar, on the other hand, proudly stands behind its craftsmanship with a 3-year warranty. This commitment to excellence gives you the confidence to entrust your home improvement project to our experienced team. When choosing a contractor, prioritize those who offer strong warranties like Almar. It’s a small step that can make a big difference in your peace of mind and the value of your home.

Craig Guido

With 20 years of remodeling experience both in the field and working in collaboration with homeowners to develop remodeling projects designed to fit your lifestyle.