5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

Jennifer De Jesus


Looking to hire a contractor? Ask these questions before you seal the deal. 

Renovation projects are an exciting step towards creating your dream home. When you’re ready to start, it can seem a little overwhelming. The best way to ensure a smooth renovation process is by hiring the right contractor.

There’s a large pool of contractors out there, but how do you find the one that’s right for you and your project? When looking through potential contractors, start by asking these five key questions. 

Are You Legally Licensed?

This is the first and most important question to ask a potential contractor. Surprisingly enough, many people who work under the title “contractor” are not legally licensed as such. A home is one of the biggest investments made in a lifetime, so it should be taken very seriously. 

If they aren’t currently licensed in that state, chances are they could just be someone working odd jobs here and there. It’s better to look for someone licensed who is doing this as a legal and professional career. 

Have You Ever Done a Similar Project? 

Not all renovations are the same. It’s a good idea to gauge their experience with a project like yours. Having an experienced contractor can avoid many potential setbacks or surprises along the way. This is especially important for out-of-the-box projects that may require specialized knowledge or tools. 

Ask to see some of their recent work so you can inspect their finished quality. This is the best way to get a sneak peek at their cleanliness and attention to detail. 

What’s the Potential Time Frame? 

We’ve all heard horror stories about renovation projects that never seem to end. Avoid an incident like that by inquiring about the estimated project time. Even if it’s just an estimation, you’ll be able to compare timings between contractors and choose what works best for you. While doing so, you’ll also be able to mentally prepare yourself and plan the renovation for when it’s most convenient. 

Can You Itemize Your Bid? 

Never be too shy to ask about the price. In many cases, contractors simply state a price after you’ve explained the project details. Asking a contractor to itemize your bid will enable you to see the breakdown of how they got their final amount. 

You’ll be able to clearly see exactly what is going to be done, what materials are needed, and how much the service costs. You can see if you’re being overcharged in any area or if any additional charges were tacked on. 

Is Your Bid an Estimate or an Absolute Price? 

The old saying stands true--you’ll never know unless you ask. Asking for clarification on the bid is always a smart idea. For some contractors, their bid is a rough estimate subject to change. For others, it stands as the negotiated absolute price. Know what you’re agreeing to before you seal the deal by inquiring further about the project’s pricing. 

For more home improvement tips, check out our blog. If you’re looking for houses for sale in Bethlehem PAcontact us today.


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