Q: When I contact contractor references, what should I ask?
Wesley R., Portland, Ore.
A: This is a great question because even though I’m the first to rave about the benefits of trustworthy consumer review sites, I still recommend taking time to contact past customers before you hire a company.
I suggest you ask references all or some of the following questions, which fall under five general categories:Project type, size and scope:
Contract and communication:
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Did the contractor or designated representative stay in contact during the project or when changes were required? Were you regularly informed of the project’s status?Following the rules:
Was the contractor appropriately licensed? Did he or she provide proof of liability and workers’ compensation insurance, as well as proof of bonding?Project realities:
Was the contractor or designated contact person pleasant and easy to work with?
If the job featured subcontractors, were you pleased with their work?The bottom line:
And last but not least, the question that is perhaps the ultimate to ask a reference: Would you be willing to hire the contractor again?
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.