Must-know pieces of information from your contractor

1. The company name, contact information, and the names of any people visiting your home.

2. The business address.

3. The amount of time that the company has been in business (the longer the better, usually).

4. Three important documents: a) the contractor license number, b) the salesperson license number, and c) the insurance certificates for worker’s compensation and general liability insurance.

BONUS: Ask if they’re endorsed by the Better Business Bureau or have ever been “financially vetted by a surety company”.

5. The number of projects they’re currently running.

6. Their revenue for the last calendar year — if you see a huge growth spurt, that could be a warning sign, since one of the biggest reasons for contractor failure is failure to estimate future growth correctly.

7. References – ask for the name, addresses and contact details of three comparable projects the contractor has completed in the last two years.

8. The names and contact details of several subcontractors and suppliers the contractor has worked with – this info will allow you to call these parties and ask if they’ve been paid, on time.

9. The contractor’s proposal with the detailed bid, construction schedule and payment plan.