Selecting a Contractor
You’d like to believe that all contractors do superb work, but you know that isn’t so. People vary in the training they receive, and they vary in their personal standards and practices.
As a homeowner, you’re looking for the best contractor for the job. What do you look for? Where do you start? Here are some guidelines:
- Find out if your state requires professional contractors to be licensed, and then ask to see that license. It’s your assurance that they follow safety codes and are completing work correctly.
- Check references. Ask the contractor for names of recent satisfied customers whom you may contact. Then be sure to check each reference.
- Get a plan, quote and see materials before they are installed. Don’t accept or provide a “seat of the pants” plan or shoddy materials. The outcome of your job depends on it. Also, make sure your plan and quote are specific, detailed and in writing. Verbal bids are meaningless.
- Be wary of any contractor who offers to charge you significantly less than other contractors. Low cost bidders often use tricks of the trade to save material and labor costs.
- A professional contractor should be able to explain to you the steps he will take to insure your project is installed properly. He should also be willing to guarantee his work with a 1-year warranty.
- A reasonable deposit is customary, but a request for a large pre-payment can be a red flag. Progress payments are standard, but always hold a little back until the job is completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor won’t object.
- The best contractors encourage their potential customers to ask questions. A qualified contractor has nothing to hide, and he will want you to understand exactly what you will be getting for your money.
- Don’t hesitate to ask him anything regarding design, products, installation or service.
- Most importantly, you should choose a contractor that you trust and with whom you feel comfortable. Confidence counts.
- Protect the value of your home with a professional contractor. You’ll be glad you did.
You’ll find Contractors listed here.