Ten Questions to Ask a Contractor's Previous Customers

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Hiring a contractor to help with your home improvement project is a big step. Hiring the wrong one can land you a in a hole that’s hard to climb out of.
Construction projects are, by their very nature, invasive. As your home is poked, prodded, struck, cut and ripped open, the construction pros you hire hold the responsibility to do the job on time, on budget and without turning your home upside down.

Hiring a contractor to help with your home improvement project is a big step. Hiring the wrong one can land you a in a hole that’s hard to climb out of.

Construction projects are, by their very nature, invasive. As your home is poked, prodded, struck, cut and ripped open, the construction pros you hire hold the responsibility to do the job on time, on budget and without turning your home upside down.

One way to make sure you hire the right pro is to get and interview customers they have worked for in the past. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, here’s what you need to ask:

1. Were they able to communicate well with the contractor?

2. Were they satisfied with the quality of work?

3. Were they satisfied with the contractor’s business practices?

4. Did the crew show up on time?

5. Were they comfortable with the trades people the contractor subcontracted to?

6. Was the job completed on schedule?

7. Did the contractor fulfill his or her contract?

8. Did the contractor stay in touch throughout the project?

9. Were the final details finished in a timely manner?

10. Would you use the contractor again without hesitation?

If the answers to any of these questions leave you feeling a bit queasy, keep looking before you turning your home – and home life – over to a crew who may leave you with less than you expected.

Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weekly e-newsletter, visit the program’s website at www.moneypit.com.

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