3 Hard-Hitting Questions To Help You Choose a Contractor

Written by Beth Jackson of Sunrise Fence
Updated November 15, 2016
an unfinished fence
Don't shy away from asking your contractor tough questions before you agree to let them do the work. (Photo courtesy of Sunrise Fence)

Good contractors aren't afraid to answer tough questions.

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It can feel very exciting to get work started inside or outside of your home. You’re anticipating a good outcome, whether it’s new granite for your kitchen countertops, or a new fence for your backyard.

If you thought it was hard to pick your style and colors, it may be even harder to choose the right pro for your job. Here are three hard-hitting questions that you should ask, in order to choose the right contractor for your job.

What can go wrong?

Ask each contractor you interview to explain some worst case scenarios for the type of work you want done, and how they will deal with it. When installing a fence, for example, some people forget about underground utilities. Sprinkler lines, cable lines and other utility lines may be at risk for damage if the fence post comes in contact with the line. Your expert needs to be licensed and insured to handle all types of incidents that may occur while the work is being performed.

Can I talk to your past or current customers?

Big job or small, you want it done right. Once you’ve narrowed your list to two contractors, ask for referrals to customers who are willing to converse with you by phone. Good contractors will not be afraid to share references and reviews, but many will steer you towards satisfied customers. Check the company's reviews on Angie’s List to find out if most of their customers were as satisfied with the contractor's work. 

What's the total price?

Always ask your contractor if there are any hidden fees or costs that may arise after they begin the job. Although there are some instances where unforeseen circumstances may lead to additional charges, the contract you sign should clearly state what you are agreeing to. Make sure that your contract is easy to understand and that it states the total contract price, what is included or omitted and the payment terms.

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About this Experts Contributor: Beth Jackson of Sunrise Fence has worked within the home improvement industry for over a decade. She has extensive experience helping consumers make valid decisions for their contracting needs.  

As of November 15, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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