How to Choose the Right Contractor

It can be difficult to find someone to work on your home who you can trust. There are many things to consider when hiring a contractor.

Finding a contractor is similar to finding a business partner. You need someone you have confidence in, and who can effectively communicate with you. They should understand your requirements and be able to deliver.

This is especially important if your remodel is larger and will take a significant amount of time to complete. Don’t waste your time and effort. Make sure the contractor you hire is suitable before beginning the project.

To help you find the right contractor, we’ve compiled the following list of questions for your consideration.


Things to Ask the Contractor:


  • Are you licensed?
    • Utah requires all contractors to obtain a license through the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). You can verify a contractor’s license here
  • Do you have a lead renovation license to work on homes built prior to 1978?
    • Utah’s DEQ provides licensing to contractors that have completed the required training for a lead-based paint license (LBP RRP). 
  • Are you insured and bonded?
    • The DOPL requires every active contractor to maintain general liability insurance, with a minimum coverage of $100,000 per incident. They also require a Contractor’s License Bond to protect the public if the contractor does not follow the licensing laws.
  • How long have you been in the construction industry?
    • Would you rather hire a contractor with 20+ years of experience, or one with 3 years of experience?
  • How do you handle any problems that arise? Can you cite a specific example?
    • While the DOPL offers assistance to deal with significant problems that may arise, it is beneficial to work with a contractor that knows how to make things right. Mediation from the DOPL should be a last resort. 
  • What exactly am I getting for the price you’ve given me?
    • If you aren’t getting a detailed scope of work and a list of materials/fixtures being used, how do you know what your contractor will really do? How will you hold them to their end of the contract? This is why we use a design-build process to help you know exactly what your space will look like when we’re finished.
  • What is your payment plan?
    • Typically, there is a down payment when signing the contract, and then progress payments throughout the project. Those progress payments should be tied to things you can verify, like passed inspections, or countertop installation. 
  • Can you give me a list of references?
    • Make sure to actually contact the references and learn how their project went. 
  • When can you start the work?
    • Depending on the size of the project, the contractor may be booked out several months or more. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Be cautious of contractors who can begin immediately. There is likely a reason why they do not have any current jobs.
  • How long will it take to complete the project?
    • Again, this will depend on the size of the project. Your contractor should be able to give you a rough estimate of the project schedule. Remember that remodeling often brings surprises. These surprises can cause delays in the completion of your job. We know it’s not fun, and we will do our best to keep on schedule, but remember: doing a project right the first time is far more important than finishing it quickly.
  • What products will you be using? Why those products?
  • What kind of maintenance will I need to do after the fact?
  • Do you have a warranty program for your workmanship? What about the products?
  • Is there anything else I need to know?


Once you’ve properly interviewed a contractor, take some time to sit back and think about their answers. Did they make you feel safe? Did they build trust? Is this a good value? Trust your gut. Hiring someone you know can do the job right the first time is more important than hiring the cheapest contractor you can find. Learn more about us, and our answers to the above questions, here.

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