When selecting a contractor is it really necessary to call references? Isn’t checking with the Construction Contractor’s Board enough?
It is absolutely important to check out a contractor’s references. A few minutes on the phone now can save you months of headaches down the road.
Here are a few questions to ask: Did the job finish on time and on budget? What type of project was it? Was the company friendly to work with? Was the job site kept neat? How was the appearance and conduct of the workmen? Would you recommend this contractor to your friends? You will be able to discern from the customer’s tone whether this is someone they enjoyed working with or not. Just because a contractor doesn’t have any claims with the Contractor’s Board doesn’t mean his customers will go so far as to recommend him. The only way to find out for sure is to talk to them.
Sometimes we assume that if a contractor lists a customer as a reference the customer will automatically say good things. So why call? Believe it or not, some tradesmen don’t have any glowing references. They are just hoping you won’t call the handful of names handed to you. Insist on a list of at least ten names. Then choose a few to call.
Furthermore, if you’re struggling with whether to move or remodel someone who’s recently remodeled can be a wealth of information. You can ask them whether they’re glad they did the project and how they saw the value of their home increase. A little research now can bring big returns to your quality of life during construction and for years into the future.