Having reliable vetting and management systems has become more crucial than ever since various services and sectors lend themselves to subcontracting general and specialized services to fulfill contractual and client needs.

You should oversee and control subcontractor work and ensure that everything is carried out by qualified, skilled, and professional people using safe and dependable equipment.

You may start the vetting process by checking the contractor’s previous work and legal history, asking for references, and checking their insurance, financial health, and the team they work with.

This post will explore the vetting process and everything you need to know when you contact a contractor. 

The Vetting Process

After several weeks of deliberation and preparation, you’ve chosen to move forward with a home or business remodel. In any case, you want to work with a general contractor that cares as much about the renovation work as you do about your house or business.

With the appropriate contractor, quality is never an accident. The success of the makeover, the cost, and your level of satisfaction once the renovation is finished will all depend on which one you select. So, what criteria do you use to select a general contractor?

Previous Work

First, be sure the general contractor has a proven track record in the neighborhood working on projects similar to yours. You wouldn’t want your personal house to be built by a contractor who has only built workplaces. Ask for a breakdown of projects that were finished recently and are comparable to your vision.

If you come across several contractors with an admirable track record of comparable jobs, you may always focus your search based on general aesthetics.

Legal History

Next, you need to check if your contractor complies with the law. Ask for copies of any state certifications and all business licenses. This will not only guarantee that your contractor complies with all local and state laws, but it will also demonstrate to them that you have done your homework and are looking into every possibility.

You should inquire with each contender as a general contractor whether they have any recent or ongoing legal matters, litigation, or complaints on their record. Many ambitious first-time home builders regrettably omit this stage. You will avoid many headaches in the future by thoroughly investigating each contractor’s business history to find out about any prospective litigation or unresolved claims.

Ask the contractor directly first, and then conduct your own research. The contractor now has the chance to be open and truthful about any legal proceedings they may have taken part in. They can openly discuss any instances of legal action brought against their business with you and politely present their defense. 

They could also use this chance to dismiss any legal actions. Through a thorough investigation of their company, the facts will ultimately surface. You have a fantastic chance to evaluate a contractor’s character at this point.

Never hire a contractor who misrepresents the existence of legal proceedings against them; at the very least, give their legal background some thought, and give the contractor who asserts they have no legal history—provided their assertion is supported by research—serious consideration.


You should also ask for a list of recommendations. A contractor worth dealing with should be prepared to provide references from previous customers, subcontractors, and workers. Ensure the build went as planned, ending on schedule and under budget when contacting previous clients.

Contact previous subcontractors to confirm that they received payment for their services in a timely fashion, that the construction site was kept tidy, that the materials arrived as scheduled, and that there were no significant safety issues.

Most notably, you should confirm that the contractor and you would have open contact lines throughout the process. Nothing is more annoying than needing to contact your contractor urgently but being unable to do so.


Construction is fraught with dangers. It is wise to have several insurance plans to shield you, the owner, and the contractor from unnecessary financial responsibilities. Make sure your contractor has a general liability policy while screening them. This kind of insurance aids a company in covering bodily injuries that a customer or other party might sustain on a contractor’s job site.

Additionally, it protects the contractor from unintentional harm to another person’s property. Workers’ compensation insurance, which safeguards the contractor from injuries sustained by staff on their job site, is another essential kind of insurance. Your project could be stopped entirely with just one missing step or dropped hammer if you don’t have these policies in place.

If one of the builders falls off a ladder while working for a contractor you hired without these safeguards, the contractor will be responsible for paying all related medical costs. The contractor might not have enough money to pay his employees after covering all accident-related medical costs, which could result in significant delays in completing your project. 

By having these policies in place, you are shielded from any additional costs brought on by a postponed build schedule. During the screening process, verify each contractor’s insurance coverage for their company.


Finding a general contractor who will handle most of the project is preferable. This guarantees a level of quality control that isn’t always possible when ten separate teams are putting your project together. The function of the account manager and coordination of all trades on site at any one time falls to the general contractor.

This does not imply that work performed under a subcontract is a bad sign. In order to free up the general contractor and his staff to work on things like the foundation or framing, it is usual to have subcontractors complete tasks like electrical, plumbing, and roofing. Time is saved in this way.

However, if the general contractor takes on more of the job, you will save money since you won’t have to pay the markup subcontractors charge on goods and labor. Try to estimate the amount of work each contractor generally completes independently.

Financial Health

Make sure the contractor’s finances are strong enough for them to commit if the project is huge. You wouldn’t want their workers to leave the job site one day because they weren’t paid or couldn’t get supplies. Obtain their two years of financial records, annual revenues, and net worth in addition to their annual turnover (this might require you to sign a confidentiality agreement). 

Watch out for indications of ill financial health, such as a lack of money, a large amount of debt, or a drop in income.


How many individuals work with contractors without a signed contract is alarming. You need to safeguard your investment if you are buying labor. Every transaction should be covered by a written agreement outlining your goals, the scope of the project, the projected completion date, and the payment method. Specify the supplies, warranties, and cleanup that the contractor will be responsible for providing.

Like hiring an employee, employing a contractor means you want someone who will effectively represent your company without adding unnecessary worry, drama, or expense.

Check the Team

Inquire about the contractor’s staff. Do they work on a contract basis, or are they working part-time? Are they new to the industry, or have they previously worked in it? Does the contractor have enough qualified professionals with licenses on site? Do the employees have the proper equipment and fair workloads? 

Are there any with significant felonies or drug issues who might not be trustworthy? The answers to these questions will determine the contractor’s suitability for your project.

Quality Control

You want your contractors to vouch for the caliber of their components and final work to prevent rework and warranty work. A process for ensuring quality assurance should be in place at every professional business. 

Although this process is rarely complicated, a successful company will have the answers to your inquiries.

Safety Practices

Make sure all subcontractors have excellent or adequate safety histories because unsafe activities might lead an inspector to order the construction site to be shut down. A staff trained to put safety first should also have plenty of safety practices.

What to Know Before Talking to a Contractor

Before you even talk to some candidates for the role, it might be helpful to look out for some warning signs to rule out individuals who are unfit for the job and select the contractor that will take care of the project without causing you unnecessary stress.

First Impressions

Follow your instincts. Move on if a contractor gives you a foul vibe or if you become uneasy while discussing quotes with them.

Punctuality is essential during construction. A warning sign could be raised if the contractor arrives late regularly. One of the most crucial characteristics of a General Contractor is their ability to plan ahead and be punctual.

Step back if the contractor pushes you to sign anything or accept any conditions.

Low Estimates

Giving a low estimate is a cunning technique to win clients. Some unqualified contractors would purposefully offer a low quote to win the work. However, after the job begins, they will provide you with a list of extras that could substantially and quickly raise costs.

A good generator contractor will provide a detailed breakdown of the job and what you will gain. Your contractor will remain honest since they will give you a valid contract.

High Up-front Deposits

Most experienced contractors will simply demand 30% of the total cost up-front to handle material costs.

It’s likely that a contractor that requests more than 40% is having financial difficulties or needs money to complete their most recent project. This can suggest that they lack organization and sound planning.

Insurance Certificate

Always verify the general contractor’s insurance certificate is up to date.

If your general contractor is not protected by insurance, you may be responsible for any damages if there is harm done to your property or, worse yet, if someone gets hurt while the job is being done.

Cleanup Costs

Some contractors will add an additional cleanup charge to your final cost. Verify that all associated charges, such as cleanup and debris disposal, are included in their initial price.


Request references that you may check, then look into their web presence and testimonials. How long have they been working in the field? Choose a person with extensive experience.


How quick are they to react? Has it been simple to receive a speedy response via telephone or email? Clients who have problems getting a hold of their general contractor and are kept in the dark about the progress of their project are among the most common complaints in the sector. You need someone who can communicate with you and keep you updated.


Regardless of whether there are plumbing or electrical subcontractors, your general contractor should be present regularly to ensure everything is proceeding as planned since projects require hands-on management.

A good general contractor should be there frequently to catch errors before they become expensive. It’s very common for neglected mistakes to turn into huge damages.

Good Questions to Ask a Contractor

  1. Would you please break down the cost?
  2. Is the initial cost approximate or a fixed price?
  3. Does the cost cover the cleanup?
  4. How long have you worked in the construction business?
  5. How long have you been working in this city?
  6. Who will you be obtaining your supplies from?
  7. What does your timeline look like?
  8. Do you have a license?
  9. Do you have an insurance certificate?
  10. How will I be able to get in touch with you?


It’s essential to carefully select a contractor who will meet the requirements of your project. This person or business will be in charge of realizing your vision by following your strategy, your schedule, and your budget. 

There must be no gaps in the communication and paperwork between you and your contractor.