When hiring a contractor there are many things you need to consider. Here are some quick tips from “The Brothers” to get you started in the right direction.
1) Did they provide a copy of your Business Insurance and Workmans Compensation Policy?
(If a contractor doesn’t provide these documents don’t even waste your time having them work on your property. If their so called employee or helper for the day gets hurt on your property you are liable!!!)
2) Did they provide me with a detailed description of the work that is to be performed?
Vague job scopes will result in an unpleasant experience for both the client and contractor.
3) Did the contractor pay attention to what I was saying and were they really listening to what I want or need?
Many contractors think they know what needs to be done before you tell them the issues, or before they ask you the right questions to ensure they are doing the correct job.
4) Does the contractor have good ideas that make sense for my home?
It is a contractors job to explore all options for a situation, and given their “expertise”, they should be able to provide you with the best solution.
5) Are they neat and clean in their appearance?
Tip: glance inside the contractors car or truck and that will tell you a lot about how they run their business. If their truck is messy, your property will be messy.
6) What does their company look like?
Do they have a website? Does the ad you called from look professional? Did someone answer the phone when you called? Did they show up on time? Get back to you in a timely manner?
7) Is this contractor looking to make a sale or will he stand behind his work?
All contractors are looking to make the sale, but will they be there if there is an issue or problem? Do they seem to be a person of integrity.
8) Are they doing the work themselves or are they subbing it out?
Many contractors make a living by subbing out the work and managing a project. While this is a fine practice for some, it often results in inflated prices for the homeowner and “cheaper” subcontractors doing the work. When working with subs, a client can have many different people and companies in and out of their house, that they don’t know and have never met. Specialty contractors are typically experts in one area of construction and are able to do it for less cost and more efficiently.
9) How long have they been in business?
Everyone has to start out somewhere, but most of us are not willing to let a contractor experiment on our home. Most businesses fail in the first 3 years and only 10 percent of businesses ever make it past 5 years. So choose your contractor wisely.
10) Will they provide me with testimonials and references?
References are a great way to find out who the contractor has worked for as well as the type of clients they service. A good company will not hesitate to produce testimonials and give you a few numbers to call for reference. An inexperienced or fly by night contractor will find it a great inconvenience to provide these references, and often never provide them.