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7 questions that homeowners are asking contractors

Prepare yourself for some of the most common questions homeowners ask contractors before deciding who to hire for the job.


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April 26, 2016 by JELD-WEN

Hiring a contractor for renovations can be a significant emotional and financial investment for homeowners. Here are 7 questions that people are asking contractors today, before hiring them for the job.

Couple consulting with contractor.

Hiring a contractor for renovations can be a significant
emotional and financial investment for homeowners.

1. Do you have references?
Even when a contractor is recommended through a friend or family, homeowners may still ask for references. Providing customers with a list of former clients, as well as some contacts at building material suppliers, is an excellent way to ensure quality and reliability.

2. Can I see some samples of your work?
Homeowners who are thinking about renovating will often want to see photos of a contractor’s previous work. Having an online portfolio, on a website or social media page, is an easy and convenient way to show customers successfully completed projects.

3. How many other jobs will you be working on?
It’s perfectly normal for renovators to have several jobs on the go. However, homeowners might be wary about hiring someone who seems like they are biting off more than they can chew. They want to be sure their contractor is making their job a priority.

4. What is your specialty?
Often, homeowners are looking to hire someone who has relevant experience with the job they need done. For example, if they are looking to get their curb-facing windows replaced, they may be hesitant about hiring someone with little or no window installation experience.

5. Who will be doing the actual labour?
There is nothing unusual about hiring subcontractors, or additional workers for a job, depending on its size and scope. However, homeowners also deserve to know who is going to be working on their house. No one wants a different team showing up every day to pick up where the last one left off.

6. What is the cost breakdown?
Before giving the green light to start a job, most homeowners want to know what the budget looks like. This can include a breakdown of building materials and supplies, the cost of labour and the profit margin. Asking for a flat rate without any details can lead customers to believe they aren’t being billed fairly.

7. Do you require payment up front?
It’s standard for contractors to require a down payment on a job. It’s also necessary, as it goes towards the cost of building supplies and hired labour. The safest strategy is to come up with an agreed-upon payment plan as part of the contract. This way everyone is on the same page.

Getting down to Business
JELD-WEN is happy to lend their expertise in any renovation job or building project. To find a JELD-WEN dealer in your backyard (not literally), use the JELD-WEN Dealer Locator Tool here.


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2 Comments » for 7 questions that homeowners are asking contractors
  1. Brian Baker says:

    About right no big deal got em’ covered.

  2. Looks fair enough and we should all be able to answers these questions.

    on point #6 – can be a fine line between full broken down T & M plus Overhead and Profit vs. Lump Sum.

    We have best of luck using more of a lump sum to avoid giving clients bullets to shoot us. Infrastructure on one line and Allowances on another with mark up built into total project value.

    Open communication, proper design, clear scope of work, estimate fair price for the scope outlined, markup it up to cover your overhead and profit to stay in business, back to listen more, play fair, make the sale, build, create raving fan client!