Hiring Contractors: What to Look for in a Contractor

Hiring Contractors.  When hiring a contractor for my home, what are some key things you look for? For myself, I start at the beginning of the project, or the estimate. Next, does the individual show up on time or if they’re running late do I get a phone call or text.  I think that really shows respect for the customer.  And if I don’t get that, that’s a bad way to start off that project.  After all, this might be the first time they are meeting you.  Everyone can get stuck in traffic or run a bit behind, but if they don’t have the common courtesy to call you, then get out now!

[ Click on the middle of the picture below to watch a video Mark made about hiring contractors. ]

Contractor Knowledge

Second is comprehensive knowledge.  Do they really grasp what you’re looking to have done?  And do you feel confident that they can handle it?  Ask them some detailed questions about other projects they’ve completed similar to yours.  If they stumble on their words or are well versed, again, get out now.

How Long in Business

The third is longevity.  I find that companies that have been around a little bit longer, such as 5-15 years, that generally gives a clear sign that they know what they are doing and the customers in the area like them.  If they didn’t, they’d be out of business pretty quickly.  So ask your contractor how long they’ve been in business.  Go check them out online too to back up their story.


Fourth, it really gets back to how they’re going to handle the challenge if there is a challenge after the project is completed. So, I don’t define a company necessarily by doing everything right.  I look at a company and see how they handle problems when things go wrong on a project.  Ask them about a recent problem and ask them how it was handled.  If they can’t share one with you, then they are probably holding something back.  We are all human and make occasional mistakes.  It’s good to know a contractor can be up front with you now and let you know how he handled a problem.  You are almost interviewing him like you would an employee – and every employee gets asked how they would handle a problem.  So go ahead and ask.  

Thanks again for joining us, please send us in your Burning Questions and I’ll put them out.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on any of your home’s remodeling or painting projects, give me a call.   My team and I have been serving the Plainfield, Naperville, Lisle, Shorewood, Joliet, Oswego, Yorkville, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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