10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Maker
What is an artisan? Our answer is inclusive: It’s someone who makes, crafts, designs, builds, organizes, and delivers tangible results. Whether it’s a custom home builder, a ductwork specialist, a landscaping company, or a premium door and window supplier, these are the people who make home home.
When you need to hire one to achieve your specific goals – and dreams – it is essential that you find the right fit. That your project is in the right hands.
10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an Artisan
How about a little Q&A session? Experienced artisans don’t mind – in fact, they’re ready, able, and 100% willing to answer any of your questions. Some inspiration for your inquiries:
- Can I see examples/samples of your work? Reputable artisans will have a way to show off their skills, whether it is in a showroom, in a portfolio, or on a website gallery – preferably all three! This gives you an opportunity to see their handiwork, gauge the quality, and determine if it aligned with your needs.
- Do you have local references? This is a must. When an artisan is effective, past customers/clients are happy to spread the word. They’ll attest to their craftsmanship and work, as well as their professionalism, responsiveness, and ability to work constructively with their own teams – and with you.
- Are you fully licensed, bonded, and insured (if applicable)? If you are seeking to hire a landscaping company, HVAC service, home builder, etc., it is essential that they have the proper licenses and insurance, as well as the financial wherewithal to compensate a customer/client should there be a problem with their product or service.
- How does your pricing work? Do you provide a quote ahead of time? While cost is not everything… It’s a lot! Many artisans will use their experience and understanding of your project parameters to provide a quote (remember that this is not ironclad; it’s more of an educated estimate) before you proceed. Others have tiers of service, different methods of charging (e.g. hourly, by milestone, whole project, etc.) of which you need to be aware. Don’t be afraid to talk dollars and cents.
- How will you handle communications with me? With whom will I be interacting? Ever call a company with a challenge or question, and speak to a new person every time? It is frustrating to explain who you are, what you need, and what the issue is over and over. Clear this up before you get started with an artisan. Who is my contact person? Am I going to be a valued customer/client or a number with no personal connection?
- Will YOU be handling my project? On a similar note, it is important to determine whether or not the artisan with whom you are speaking will be the one who actually does the work required. Do they hand you off to a team member, or are they there from start to finish.
- Do you work with subcontractors or other artisans? When you are building a home, for example, it’s not feasible that one artisan will complete the entire project alone. They will need to bring in employees, crews, subs, and other professionals. That’s fine! Just ask about who they work with, how they established those relationships, and what standards they hold for the people involved in their projects.
- Can you give me an expected timeline for project completion? Like an estimate or quote, a project timeline is not set in stone. Any number of factors can impact the schedule, from weather to the supply chain. An experienced, reputable artisan will give you a realistic answer (and they will also have strategies to avoid common pitfalls, such as material shortages). Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is!
- Do you offer any guarantees? What if something goes wrong? What if you love your results but run into challenges down the road? Inquire about what types of guarantees your artisan offers. These should be clear, explicit, and written for your review.
- If this is a good match, when could you get started? Like what you’re hearing? Ask the artisan when they can get going! Depending on their schedule, the time of year, and other factors, they may be booked for some time. Make sure this is acceptable to you. While they will try to accommodate you as quickly as possible, a great artisan never short changes another customer/client for the sake of expediency.
Home Artisans of Indiana
Where do you start your search for an artisan? Right here. Home Artisans of Indiana makes it easy to find, and hire, a professional who will meet all of your requirements – and exceed all of your expectations. Find your artisan.