The first question most homeowners ask a contractor is “Can I get an estimate?” But there really are four questions you should ask before that one. The first three questions are for your contractor, the last is for you to ask yourself:
- How long have you been in business? Lots of information in this answer. The John Smith that has been a painter for 25 years is not the same as John Smith Painting Company that’s been in business for 2 years. Note that “business” is very different from “experience” – and both should be verifiable. See the next question.
- Where are your reviews? Not the age-old “references”, but reviews. Let’s face it, contractors never provide references for anything other than jobs that went really well. How many jobs didn’t go well? How do you know? Online reviews (testimonials, feedback, etc.) are uncensored and honest. There will likely be a balance between negative and positive. No reviews? Then you better ask lots of good questions.
- How (and when) will you deliver your estimate? This will tell you much about how future dealings might go. Clear and prompt estimates indicate a level of confident professionalism that verbal or hand-written estimates do not.
- How confident am I that this contractor will really do everything he says he will do? This is the old-fashioned “gut check”. If you don’t feel you can trust a contractor he’s probably not the right person to be working in your home.
- Will he really show up on time?
- Will they really work full days?
- Does he really run background checks?
- Can he really do the job safely?
- Do I really trust this person?
Homeowners sometimes rely on a sample of one (“my neighbor really liked this painter”) and don’t always ask the tough-but-necessary questions. A successful contractor will have a verifiable history of delighted customers and will have confident answers to those same questions.
Call Crestwood Painting for your next project – and see how we answer your questions.