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:
Contract and communication:
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?
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.