How to Check Your Contractor’s References Before a Project

Once you are ready to start your construction project, whether a new build or a remodel, you need to find the ideal contractor for the venture. You might already have gone through the process of gathering a list of names and interviewing them, and might even have selected one or two possible candidates. You now find yourself wondering how to choose the final one and how to make sure you are basing your decision on the right facts. You know you need to check their references but, how do you do this? You must dig deeper if you want to uncover all you can about their character and reputation.

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Contact Their Clients

Ask the contractor you are considering for your project for at least three names of people that have had similar jobs to yours and reach out to them. Find out their opinion on the work done, whether the contractor was able to work with their budget, if the work was done on time, and, most importantly, whether they would work with this contractor again.

Still, keep in mind that the contractor will only give you the names of satisfied customers. However, this is a good place to start your research. If you are still feeling doubts, ask the contractor for the last five clients and not clients that they have carefully chosen.

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Contact Their Suppliers

Ask them for names of their suppliers, people with whom they have dealt for a while. Call the suppliers and find out if the contractor pays their bills on time. You don’t want to get stuck with any bills yourself later on. Listen to anything else that these suppliers might have to say about the contractor.

Ask the Contractor About Their License and Insurance

Look for their expiration dates and make sure they are still valid. You may also check out this information through your state’s contractor licensing board. You should also check their general liability policy.

If the contractor is reputable, they should have no problem showing you any document you want to review. They have nothing to hide and let their actions and their good work speak for them.

Why is it important to check your contractor’s references?

You probably know that it is not a good idea to just hire somebody off the street unless you really don’t care too much about how the job is done.

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By getting references and checking them out, you may end up finding out that although the client seems to be satisfied with the job, there were certain aspects of it that the clients were not happy about. And these may just turn out to be items that have first-priority in your list of must-haves.

You may also find out that some of their clients talk about unexpected snags in their projects. In those cases, by finding out how the contractor handled and resolved these unexpected situations, you may be able to form a much clearer idea of what kind of person you will be working with.

Having a plan for the project, a timeline and a realistic budget is only the first step in achieving success when it comes to a construction project. If you still have doubts about how to find the right contractor, HHC might be able to help.


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