On any work involving your home, a special service, or a custom order, it is worthwhile to ask your contractor effective questions regarding your issues and their services. They may have more to offer than you were aware of, or they may not have what it takes to solve your problems, and you still need to keep shopping! From our expert members in vastly different fields, here are some great questions you can ask the next time you employ a contractor:
What does it cost to move to a new place?
“Cost depends on how much packing and moving help is needed. Everyone has different amounts of belongings and everyone’s living situation is different—some live in an apartment (level number, stairs and elevators are all factors) and others live in large homes. Some cannot be accessed with a large tractor-trailer and moving has to be done twice in transferring boxes from a small truck to the actual moving trailer. Moving cost can be estimated by performing an in-home survey, which we do for free.” David Stamper, PLANES Companies
What is the current interest rate?
“The answer to this common question changes from day to day, and therefore is an important question to ask whenever you are planning to buy or sell a house.”
What is the inventory level of homes on the market?
“It can be taken for granted that there are always many properties available for buying, but this is not always the case. For instance, this year the inventory of homes on the market is at the lowest levels we have seen in five years. It is a prime year for sellers, and if you are thinking about selling your house, now might be the perfect time.” Phil Hotle, 21st Century Scheetz
Can we provide our own material/labor?
“Many customers want to pull what they need from many different sources, using a product from one company and the labor of another. However, as a quality-service plumbing company, we recommend finding a reliable company and sticking with them all the way. When we work with customers who use their own materials or provide some of their own labor, we cannot guarantee their products or labor due to their unknown source and quality. The materials we choose have professional support systems and reliable return and replacement processes in case of damage. The small amount you may save isn’t worth the unknown reliability of your product or labor.” Cathy Stegemoller, Steg Plumbing
What is the difference between your price and the $49.95 guys?
“This is a common question we receive, and the answer is simply “it’s a scam!” Full-service, professional-grade HVAC system cleanings do not come at this price. Be prepared for one person and a vacuum.” Carlton Mills, Ductz
Can I rent a dumpster that won’t damage my driveway?
“Renting a dumpster should not come at the expense of damaging your driveway. We place wood boards down on your property to guarantee there will be no scrapes or marks.” James Spink, Bin There Dump That
What are the best drapes for my house?
“Each room of a home has a different function and feel, therefore no home should have the same blinds or coverings through the entire home. As a full-service drapery gallery, we like to ask the questions for our clients, discovering all the details of light, view, heat, child safety, budget, and etc. People keep quaity window coverings for 10-20 years, and asking good questions is how we find out what that perfect fit is.” Caryn O’Sullivan, Drapery Street
Why does it take so long to get shower doors?
“All shower glass has to be tempered, which takes anywhere from 7-10 days.” Donna Moulder, Mirror & Glass Concepts
Can you find me a substitute for a more expensive product?
“Many people think that because they aren’t buying the most expensive thing out there, they can’t have a top-quality design. But we at Ferguson can meet all budgets. If you ask me, I can rock a look for less.” Dianna Dinges, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
Will my basement leak?
“Some homeowners are surprised when water comes into their basement. Inevitably, a large number of basements will leak at some point, due to multiple factors. But when you ask this question, you can hear the good news that leaks can be fixed!” Tim Eckert, Weber Concrete
Own a Business?
Asking questions holds the same importance in hiring contractors for your business needs. Our member Alpha Graphics has advice for business owners specifically looking for marketing contractors.
Can you help with design?
“Absolutely! It can be easy to plug a company into only one part of the process, and never ask about the other services it offers. For us, many clients only use us to print. But printing is not our only forte! Our designer can start from scratch, or take your word or publisher documents and fine-tune your designs so you can be fully satisfied with the final product.”
Do your provide proofs?
“Always! It is important that you be satisfied with the end result before it is produced in bulk! We recommend asking this question before you choose a custom designer or printer who is going to make a large order for you. Whether it is wedding invitations, brochures or business cards, we can send you a final PDF, or an actual printed proof so you can see, touch and feel it before it goes to production.” Michael Kile, Alpha Graphics
Do you have questions you want to ask our experts? Contact them on our Home Artisans of Indiana Member’s Page.