Got References? Questions to Ask Your Contractor.

Got References? Questions to Ask Your Contractor.
  • Opening Intro -

    Your home renovation plans shouldn't be carried out before you check your contractor's references.

    Customers who previously had work done with your contractor should be contacted directly by you.


There are a number of questions you can ask each reference with their answers going far to help you determine whether to use a particular contractor or to move on to someone else. Read on and we’ll look at questions you might ask and the answers you should expect from satisfied customers.

Did the contractor do the work as performed and expected? Sometimes, homeowners can have one idea in mind and a home contractor something else. A good contractor will listen to what you want to have done and attempt to meet your requests precisely. A satisfied customer will answer in the affirmative.

Would you hire the contractor again? A customer may be satisfied with the work, but you should ask whether he would use that contractor again. Sometimes, the work is sufficient, but the cost or other factors including subcontractors may give a reference pause when asking this question. Try to dig deeper by asking for an explanation — remember: you’re having a dialogue with the customer and are relying on complete answers to make your decision.

Was your home or site kept clean throughout the renovation? If the customer remained in her home while renovations were being completed, then you’ll want to know if this home was “livable” while the work was going on. This question can help you uncover whether workers cleaned up after themselves, including the removal of personal trash, work debris and the preponderance of dust that was kicked up while construction was going on.

Were problems resolved in a timely matter? No job takes place apart from problems. As mentioned with the first question, sometimes an issue will come up that needs to be resolved. Beyond that, did the problem slow down the completion of the work? If so, was there an added cost for the customer? You’ll want to gauge whether the customer found the home contractor easy to work with or was someone who go defensive, even combative as problems arose.

Was paperwork handled and submitted properly? Many jurisdictions require contractors to take out a permit before the work commences with larger projects involving electricity and plumbing requiring one or more follow-up inspections. Here, you can find out whether a contractor submitted the paperwork on time and if there were any “hiccups” that delayed the work. Listen carefully for the customer’s response and offer the proper follow-up questions as needed.

Final Thoughts

Not every reference will oblige you with answers or at least enough information to satisfy you. You’ll want to receive at least three references from the contractor and at least one should give you thorough answers. If you aren’t satisfied that the previous customers were happy with the work, then you should consider the next contractor on your list.

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Last update on 2019-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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Categories: Contractors

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".