How to Choose the Right Contractor for You

We understand that choosing a contractor is not an easy task – there’s a lot involved with finding someone you trust to work on your home. You don’t want just anyone to complete your project. We get that, and we feel the same way.

Much like finding a business partner, you want to find a contractor who you trust, who communicates well with you, who knows what you want and is able to do it for you. And this is especially important if you have a job that will last longer – you don’t want to get halfway through the project and realize the contractor you hired is not going to work out after all.

So we’ve compiled the following lists of questions for you to consider when choosing a contractor.

Things to Ask Yourself:

  • Do I feel comfortable and safe with this contractor?
  • Do I trust this contractor to work on and in my home?
  • Does this contractor know what they are talking about?
  • Are they explaining things in a way that I can understand? Are they using big words to confuse me and make it seem like they know more than they do?
  • Is this contractor being transparent with me, or are does it feel like they are hiding things?
  • Does this contractor actually listen to me and understand what I want?
  • Do I have a good gut feeling about this contractor?
  • Does the value of what I’m getting make me feel good about the price? Is it worth it?

Things to Ask the Contractor (& Our Answers)

  • Are you licensed?
    • Yes. Our CCB license number is #172566. You can check that our license is active at the CCB website here, and we can give you a copy as well, if you would like.
  • Do you have a lead license to work on homes built prior to 1978?
    • Yes we do. Our Lead Based Paint Renovation license is LBPR172566. You can learn more about Lead Safety requirements here.
  • Are you insured?
    • We are insured through United Fire Group, with Commercial General Liability, Automobile Liability, and Excess Liability. We can provide you a copy of our insurance. We also are insured through SAIF Corporation in compliance with Oregon Workers' Compensation laws.
  • How long have you been in business?
    • 20 years as of November 2017.
  • How do you handle any problems that arise? Can you site a specific example?
    • If a problem comes up, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible, and likewise we will notify you of any problems on our end. We believe that communication is key. We will work with you to come to an agreement/solution regarding the problem. If need be, the CCB offers arbitration services. This is what the State of Oregon has to say about resolving disputes.
  • What exactly am I getting for the price you’ve given me?
    • We make our estimates as specific as possible, and if you have any questions, we would love to go over your estimate with you.
  • What is your payment plan?
    • We ask that you put down a 50% deposit at signing so we can secure a spot on the schedule for your project and get materials ordered. Depending on the length of the project, we ask for one to three progress payments, and once the work is completed, we send you the final invoice.
  • Do you offer financing? Will you work with me to get financing?
    • Yes, we do, and yes, we will. We can provide you with several financing options. An approximate monthly payment option will also be listed on your bid.
  • Can you give me a list of references?
    • Gladly! We always send our references attached to your formal proposal, and if you’d like to see them before that, just let us know.
  • When can you start the work?
    • Starting date will depend on the project and what our calendar currently looks like. For a more specific answer, you can call our office at 971.832.0191.
  • How long will it take to complete the project?
    • Project length will also depend on the type of project, but this is something you can ask our estimator when they come out to take a look.
  • What products will you be using? Why those products?
    • Again, this depends on the project, but we would be more than happy to tell you what products we would use on your project and why we like them.
  • What kind of maintenance will I need to do after the fact?
    • Check out this helpful Art of Manliness checklist.
  • Do you have a warranty program for your workmanship? What about the products?
    • Product warranties vary depending on the manufacturer. Square Deal extends to the original Homeowner the standard 1 year construction warranty, to cover the life of the renovations.
  • Is there anything else I need to know?
    • For a full rundown of Our Process, click here.

Things to Ask Their References:

  • What kind of project did this contractor do for you?
  • What was the process like?
  • Were there any hidden fees?
  • Did the price you were charged match the price on the estimate you were given?
  • What was the cost versus value experience for you?
  • What were the pros and cons of working with this contractor?
  • Did you have any concerns or problems with this contractor? If so, how were they remedied?
  • Would you hire them again? Why (or why not)?

We understand that your home is your safe place, and we want it to stay that way.

For more helpful information when it comes to choosing a contractor, check out this brochure from the Certified Contractors Network and this question list from the National Association of Home Builders.