Questions Business Owners Should Ask When Hiring Contractors

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Questions Business Owners Should Ask When Hiring Contractors

By Zuma Insurance Services | September 20, 2018

Hiring contractors questions to ask

It isn’t easy finding the perfect contractor to trust for your business construction needs. There are so many to choose from. Taking your time, performing due diligence, and asking the right questions can help you make smarter hiring decisions when it comes to hiring contractors for your business. These are a few great questions to ask before hiring contractors.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

The answer to this question helps you to establish the amount of experience a contractor has as well as to determine whether he has had time to develop a reputation, for better or worse, within the community.

For the most part, terrible contractors who do shoddy work don’t stay in business very long. It’s not definitive proof of quality, but a good sign for contractors to have been in business several years. Also ask if they’ve done business under a different name for added security and peace of mind.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

Not all experience comes in being a private contractor. Some experience can be gained by working for other contractors.

What you really want to know is how much experience a contractor has, who they’ve worked with or for to gain that experience, and whether or not they have specific experience with the job you’re hiring them to do.

Protect yourself when hiring a contractor

Do You have Your Own Insurance?

Not only do you want to know if they have their own insurance to cover their work and possible damage to your property but also to cover their workers through workers’ compensation coverage.

Beyond that, you want to make sure any subcontractors they hire are insured or whether you’re responsible for insuring them. Don’t just take their word for it. Get documentation. Many experienced contractors will offer proof of insurance. If they don’t, ask.

Can I See Past Examples of Your Work?

It’s always good to take the opportunity to see examples of their work in action. Look for the finer details and not just the big picture.

  • Are the outlets properly covered?
  • Does the problem look finished or more like a work in progress?
  • Does the craftsmanship match your expectations?
  • How clean does the jobsite look (if they provided work in progress pictures)? Remember, the contractor and his or her crew will be working on your business property.
  • Is the image they project in the images a professional one?

Can I Contact Recent Customers to Better Understand their Experiences Working with You?

This is the one you want most. You want to talk to people they’ve work with in the past, so you can ask about their experiences with the contractors. Questions you may wish to ask them include things like:

  • Did they clean up after themselves daily?
  • Was there a big mess when they left?
  • Did the construction cause a huge disruption to business?
  • Did the contractor, his or her crew, and subcontractors conduct themselves in a professional manner when you had customers or clients around?

Do You Have the Proper Licenses, Permits, etc.?

Don’t just ask. Verify the accuracy of their claims as well – especially when it comes to things like licenses and permits. It’s too important to simply take their word for it as it offers you an added layer of protection should something go wrong.

Before hiring contractors

When you’re hiring contractors, questions to ask, like these, can help you make better informed hiring decisions:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • Do you have your own insurance?
  • Can I see past examples of your work?
  • Can I contact recent customers to better understand their experiences working with you?
  • Do you have the proper licenses, permits, etc.?

Protect yourself when hiring a contractor by asking these key questions. Also, make sure you have the right kind of insurance to protect you and your business from potentially bad contractor experiences. Call Zuma Insurance today at 866-400-4434 to learn what kind of coverage you need to best protect your interests before hiring a contractor.