When interviewing an outdoor kitchen contractor in the state of Florida keep these question in mind. If your not satisfied with their answers then you know they are not the outdoor kitchen contractor for you.
- Are you a licensed contractor in this state and city? Check to see if your state requires a license. Some states accept work experience, membership in professional trade organizations, and continuing education units in place of a license. If the contractor has a license, get the license number, and call the local building department to validate the number. Also, call the State Consumer Protection Agency to find out if the contractor had to prove financial stability, pass an exam, or just pay a fee for the license.
- Can I have three references from customers in the past 12 months? Past three years? Use references to check the contractor’s current and past work history.
- Can I have a banking and/or financial reference? Check financial stability. If the contractor is unable to pay for materials, labor, and overhead costs, the job could go unfinished.
- What professional/trade organizations are you are a member of? Check membership standing in the organization provided.
- What insurance coverage do you have? At a minimum, contractors should have Workman’s Compensation, general liability (including property and personal liability), and automobile insurance. These policies help protect you and your property from potential legal problems should an accident occur. Call the insurance agency to confirm effective dates of the insurance policies.
When a contractor starts a job, it’s good practice to have a valid certificate of insurance naming you and your property as co-insured. Have the contractor contact his insurance agency and request that a copy be mailed directly to you. Do not accept a photocopy.
- How long have you been in business? A contractor with at least five years experience usually has a stable business foundation and is reliable.
- Have you taken any classes or attended any trade seminars in the past 2 years? Industry trade shows, seminars, and classes help a contractor stay on top of the latest solutions and techniques for remodeling and building. Courses centered on managing a business successfully are also important.
- Based on the project detail, what permits may be required? The contractor should be familiar with local building code requirements.
- May I have an itemized estimate on the project that includes materials, labor, overhead, and a time frame? The estimate should be in writing in order to compare it with the estimates you receive from the other two contractors.
- Do you have a “before and after” picture portfolio? Most contractors have pictures of past work.