How to Choose a Contractor

  • 1
  • January 27, 2015

Here’s a checklist of things to consider when selecting your contractor.
Let’s use ratings of “Best”, “Good”, “OK”, “Fair” and “Reject” to classify some of these items.

Contractor Licensing (they must provide the number if licensed):

  • Licensed; has never had a complaint filed or had disciplinary action taken [BEST]
  • Licensed; has no prior complaints filed for at least 3 or more years [FAIR]
  • Licensed; current complaints or actions against them within the past 3 years [REJECT]
  • Contractor has no license [REJECT]

Insurance (ask to see their certificates):

  • Workman’s Compensation and General Liability [BEST]
  • General Liability only (bodily injury and property damage) [GOOD]
  • Contractor has no insurance [REJECT]

Business Longevity:

  • In business more than 10 years with the same name [BEST]
  • In business 5 or more years with the same name [GOOD]
  • In business 1 to 5 years with the same name [OK]
  • New business under 1 year [FAIR]

Reference Check (yes, you should check references)

  • Positive prior current references from at least 5 customers [BEST]
  • 1 to 4 positive references from past customers [FAIR]
  • No real references or negative references provided [REJECT]


  • Specializes in the work you want performed [BEST]
  • Can perform the work you want but also does other types of work [OK]
  • Little to no experience in the work you want performed [REJECT]

Scope and Price: (All Items are Required)

  • Detailed description of the scope of work
  • Assumptions (if any) are clear and accurate
  • Contractor DID NOT offer discount to “sign up now”
  • Contractor will Guarantee the work
  • All verbal Contractor representations are in writing
  • No more than 25% to 33% asked for up front
  • Final payment not required until work is complete

Leave a Reply