PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you really want to get the scoop on whether or not a contractor is right for you, you may want to make a call to a recent customer.

Asking for references is an essential step in the hiring process.

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Whether it’s getting your carpet cleaned, getting a new roof or having someone put in a new door, it’s key to ask for references.

“Checking references can seem like a hassle, but it’s really an important step in the hiring process so that you are sure you get the right person,” says Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List. “You want to make sure what they are promising you is in fact true.”

In a recent Angie’s List survey, 50 percent of respondents said they typically ask for references.

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“When speaking with the reference, be sure to ask open-ended questions. Don’t just ask yes and no questions because then you are really going to get them talking, and you can pick up tidbits about the experience,” adds Hicks.

Those open-ended questions include questions like:

  • What kind of work did the contractor do for you?
  • What was it like to work with the contractor and his crew?
  • How would you describe the contractor’s ability to stay on budget?

Also, it’s worth asking:

  • Did you get the results you expect?
  • Would you hire this contractor again?

Experts also recommend you contact at least three recent customers to get the scoop on a contractor.

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