5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a General Contractor

Before hiring a contractor, there are several questions you’ll want to ask to make sure the construction company you’re hiring is reliable and affordable. While no two companies will offer exactly the same services or price points, there are ways you can compare them side-by-side. Here are five questions every homeowner should ask their potential contractor before signing on the dotted line.


1) Does your company have insurance?

Contractors must have general liability insurance specifically for contracting work performed at their customers’ homes. Asking this question first ensures that any work done by the contractor will be covered if something should go wrong with it. A good contractor will be proud to show proof of their license as well as proof of proper insurance coverage for both workers compensation and general liability. If the contractor does not have insurance or says it will be too expensive for them to get, you should consider finding someone else to do your construction work.

2) How long has your company been in business?

Experience is one of the most important qualities a general contractor can offer their customers. An experienced company knows what works and what doesn’t, how to follow proper protocol with local permitting offices, and how to stay within budget without sacrificing quality. A good rule of thumb is that companies who have been in business for around three years are usually an optimal choice because they know enough about their craft while still being young enough that they’ll be able to adapt quickly if new techniques arise.

3) What types of services do you offer?

A general contractor’s job is to get a home or other building project from start to finish. They oversee the entire process, from design and planning, to building permits and construction work. There are many different types of services that a general contractor can offer customers depending on the scope of your project. Some common specialties include waterproofing basements , refurbishing wood decks , designing custom kitchens , and more.

When looking at a potential contractor, you should consider what services they offer to ensure they have everything you need for your home improvement project. If you plan to only have some things done while doing other parts yourself, make sure your choice in contractors will be able to accommodate any other needs you may have throughout the rest of the overall process.

4) What kind of warranty does your company offer?

The contractor’s warranty is one of the most important aspects when determining if they’re a good fit for your project. Most contractors offer some sort of warranty that guarantees their craftsmanship for a set number of years, ensuring that any problems with the construction will be properly addressed by them within that time period. The best warranties are those that include both parts and labor, meaning the entire process from start to finish will be covered in case something goes wrong. You’ll also want make sure you understand what exactly is included in the warranty before signing on any dotted lines—is it only workmanship or parts as well? Does it cover future issues involving regular wear and tear? Will you have to pay for the repairs out of pocket, or will the warranty cover them?

5) Can I contact your previous customers?

Everyone makes mistakes—even contractors. When interviewing potential contractors, it’s important to ask them if you can contact their past customers so that you can see how they handled any problems that occurred during the project process. Some companies may be hesitant about giving out this information because of privacy concerns, but in most cases it shouldn’t be an issue since these are references that they provided themselves. If contacting previous customers seems like too much of a hassle, or if nobody is willing to talk with you at all when asked, then chances are the contractor isn’t using professional business practices and should not be trusted with your home improvement needs.

In most cases, a company who is unwilling to provide references or can’t seem to find any for you is a red flag that the business may not be as reputable as they claim. A good general contractor should have no problem getting in contact with their previous customers and giving you an honest opinion of their work. These contacts are there to show off how great they are at what they do, so it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience for them to speak with you about how helpful they were throughout the whole process.


Are You Looking for a General Contractor You Can Trust?

If you’re considering a whole house, kitchen or bathroom remodel, New Key Construction, based in Walnut Creek California, is here to serve you. Our passion is to be the home for talented craftsmen who deliver beautiful projects to clients throughout the SF East Bay Area! Choosing the right general contractor for your project can be difficult, but we make things easy by focusing on Your Experience, Client Communication, Cutting Edge Technology and Pushing Our Design and Build Limits!  If we could have one goal, it would be that when someone you know is looking for a contractor you highly recommend our company because of the experience we deliver for you! Check out our website, our portfolio and our reviews to learn more – or give us a call today.