How to Hire a Contractor

A successful renovation starts with an experienced, reliable contractor. Here's how to find one.

Article by Hannah Echols

Photography by courtesy of 5 Rings Construction

Originally published in Parker City Lifestyle

Sara and Lance Brooks know that hiring a contractor can be intimidating. As the lead designer and general contractor (respectively) at 5 Rings Construction, they've helped clients who have been burned by bad contractors. Through excellent service and clear communication, Sara and Lance aim to redeem those experiences. Now, they’re here to help you. Asking the right questions before hiring a contractor will mitigate risk and elevate your confidence. Here’s a list of 10 questions Sara and Lance recommend asking before you sign on the dotted line.

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor 

1. Do you have a reference list?
Acquire a list of past customers and reach out to a few. If they were satisfied with their service, there’s a higher chance you will be.

2. Do you offer financing options?
You don’t have to break the bank or stretch your credit limit to afford home renovations. Some contractors offer project financing for lower rates than personal or equity loans. For example, 5 Rings Construction offers financing through Redstone Bank and EnerBank USA.

3. How long have you been in business?
The longer a contractor has been in business, the more reliable they are prone to be. Longevity in business lowers your chances of being ripped off by a shady contractor.

4. What is the pay schedule for the project?
This industry lingo will make it sound like you know your stuff. A transparent pay schedule ensures that you and the contractor are on the same page about when payments are due. Pro-tip: Never pay for an entire project up-front!

5. Are you licensed and insured?
People make mistakes, but you don’t want to be the one that has to pay for them. Let’s say that your handyman is patching a hole in the wall, and they accidentally puncture a water line. If they don’t have insurance, you are responsible for that cost. Never hire a contractor who doesn’t have updated licensure and insurance.

6. How will we deal with additional charges?
When the project is underway, you may decide to do something differently. Perhaps you want to remove an additional wall and need to implement a change order. In such instances, you’ll want to know the pay schedule and relevant details for additional charges.

7. Will you be on site every day?
Typically, contractors are not on site every day. It will give you peace of mind to know when people are supposed to be at your house and when they are waiting on materials or inspections.

8. What is the timeline for the project?
For your sanity, setting time expectations up front is a smart idea. For instance, you don’t want to be out of a kitchen for four months!

9. How will my project be supervised?
Every project has a point of contact. Knowing your project supervisor(s) will help you get answers quickly and avoid wasting time playing phone tag.

10. When can you start?
After signing a contract, the last thing you want is to realize that your contractor can’t start for several months. Communication is critical to having a great experience with your contractor! 

Elevate Your Home With These 2023 Trends 

The International Design Week Conference in Las Vegas showcased the latest and greatest trends. The best companies in the home industry unveiled everything from exterior siding textures to kitchen faucets that can disperse beer, coffee, and champagne! Lance and Sara with 5 Rings Construction break down the top 5 home trends for 2023 and how to incorporate them into your home.

1. Decorative Moulding: The more, the better! Take your rooms to the next level by applying wainscotting to the walls, and upgrade your cabinetry and appliances with moulding details.

2: Pops of Color: Adding tasteful splashes of color imbues your home with personality and fun. In 2023, we’re taking it back to pastels for plumbing amenities–think grandma’s green bathtub or pink bathroom sink. Bold jewel tones for cabinetry, appliances, or an accent wall will do a lot to enhance your space.

3: Kitchen Workstations: Let your kitchen be your canvas. It’s the era of the culinary workstation! Gone are the days of rummaging through drawers to find what you need. The trendiest kitchen models include workstations with built-in organization, cutting boards, baskets, and bins. You can even suspend faucets from the ceiling so that water is accessible throughout the kitchen.

4: Elegant Fixtures: Kitchen and bath fixtures are jewelry for the home. Like adding the finishing touch to an outfit, intentional fixtures will make your home unique. Contractors are getting innovative too. Think polished chrome faucets that simultaneously wash dishes and dispense cold brew coffee from an under-the-counter keg!

5: Outdoor Kitchens: March is the perfect time to consider upgrading your outdoor space. The outdoor kitchen was the hottest “room” at this year’s International Design Week in Las Vegas. Make your backyard a place where the family and neighbors want to gather with pizza ovens, minibars, Santa Maria grills, and refined cabinetry that holds everything you need to entertain with ease.

Do you want to integrate these trends into your space in 2023? Perhaps you have another project in mind. Sara, Lance, and The 5 Rings Construction team would love to help you make your design dreams come true. To learn more, visit or give them a call at 720-955-3400.

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