How to Check a Contractor’s References

“I don’t have to check references, do I? No one’s going to say anything bad anyway…”

Too many homeowners are reluctant to check references. Some believe that just the fact that a remodeler gave references means they must be okay.

Not true!

Any remodeling contractor can come up with a few good references – it’s not unheard of for contractors to give their relatives as references. But if you want to know how good a company really is, you should ask for at least ten customer references, along with references from their bank and key vendors.

Even small remodeling contractors complete several dozen jobs every couple of years, so providing ten references shouldn’t be a big deal.

We will provide you with 50 recent local references in the Capital District area. We encourage you to call some or all of them and ask about our timeliness, adherence to specifications, price, or anything you want to know about us.

You’ll also want to read the testimonials our delighted clients have written.

Here’s a guide so that you know what to ask when you check references to be sure you get the information you want and need.

Simple Questions to Ask a Reference

The following questions were provided to us by a company that has spent years advising and educating both homeowners and residential contractors on professional business practices.

These questions will tell you a lot about a contractor.

The company recommends that you prepare a list of five to ten questions to ask each reference.

They also recommend that you obtain a rating on timeliness, cleanliness, adherence to the quoted price and professionalism.

You should also confirm the type and the scope of the project completed.

Having a prepared list will put you at ease and help you get the information you need.

If contractors or homeowners are reluctant to provide specific answers or seem to be providing vague answers – that should be a red flag.

  • Did they start on the date they promised?
  • Did they clean up at the end of each day?
  • Was the proposal price what you ended up paying? If not, why not?
  • How did they handle issues that came up during the project?
  • How often did they give you an update on progress?
  • Were all of their crew members (including sub-contractors) polite and respectful?
  • Did anything go wrong after the project was completed? Did they fix the problem?
  • What was the main reason you picked them?
  • Would you hire them again if you had another remodeling project?

Two Other Types of References You Should Require

Razzano Homes & Remodelers will also provide letters of reference from our bank and from our key vendors. We urge you to ask for these from each contractor you’re considering for your project.

Bank Letter: This letter gives you additional assurance that the company is financially stable. Every remodeling contractor should be able to get a reference letter from their bank.

If they can’t or won’t, beware! They may need your deposit to cover outstanding debts or obligations. This can spell disaster for your project.

Vendor Letters: These letters provide evidence that the contractor pays their bills on time. If a remodeling contractor doesn’t pay their bills on time, they won’t get the best pricing and they may have problems getting materials on time.

We hope this Reference Guide helps you get the information you need to make the best choice when it comes to evaluating and selecting a professional remodeling contractor.

We are providing this as a service so you can make the best decision possible, regardless of the company you decide to hire.

If you are planning to remodel or add on to your home, and are researching local Capital District remodeling contractors, be sure to thoroughly check the references for each contractor you’re seriously considering. The time you spend up front doing your due diligence will be well worth it.

Please call us at (518) 915-1800 to schedule your personal, no-hassle initial consultation, or click here to have us call you.