Are you in need of a contractor to take care of a job for you? If the answer is yes, then you certainly have a lot of options to choose from. However, you should remember that not all contractors are equals, for some are just better than the others. Bearing this in mind, it is essential for you to hire only the best contractors for taking care of your jobs’ right?
Amos Exteriors has been working with homeowners since 1971 and we’ve helped a lot of homeowners that first selected the wrong contractor before hiring us. Entering a transaction that goes unexpectedly isn’t just frustrating, it can cost you more money since you may need to hire another contractor to get the job done right. Here are some of the aspects that you need to consider when it comes to finding the best contractor for your project:
Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
The first thing that you need to check, before even considering to allow a contractor to touch your home, is if the contractor is licensed or not. A person cannot just wake up one day and decide that he wishes to be a home contractor. A license is proof that the contractor you are considering is not only professional but allowed to operate in your area and state as well.
On top of that, you should also ensure that the contractor is insured against accidents. If you do not ensure this beforehand, there is a high chance of you being liable for any accidents that the workers suffer from on your property. Moreover, with construction jobs especially, there is a high chance of accidents occurring on your neighboring properties as well. For instance, if a worker accidentally damaged your neighbor’s property, you would want the contractor to be liable for the damages.
When it comes to a contractor, you should remember that there is no such thing as a know-it-all. If you do come across a contractor, however, who makes such a claim, there is a higher probability of the contractor being a jack of all trades and master of none instead. The reason for this lies in how it is only possible for a human being to be expert in a field or two. To master a field or two of work is what is recommended for contractors as well, considering how it allows them to be best at what they do.
With this in mind, it is of utmost importance for you to conduct your research and figure out if a contractor has experience and expertise in projects that are similar to your own. If they don’t, then it is recommended for you to keep on looking, regardless of how well established a contractor might be in some other project type.
A few things Amos Exteriors does to ensure our contractors are the best in the region:
- We have joined or lead every regional membership organization that set standards for our industry.
- We partner with our suppliers and keep our contractors educated on the best practices and newest technologies.
- We have multiple crews with multiple experts in every skill, so you’re never dependent on one person’s availability.
Ask the Right Questions
While you are hiring the contractor, it is imperative for you to remember that it is your house and property that they will be working on. It is essential for you to remember this because only then will you be asking your contractor the right set of questions. The need for you to ask the right questions cannot be stressed upon enough, owing to how it serves to get your point and expectations across to the contractor.
The value of asking questions does not only reside in making the contractor of your requirements but understanding if the contractor will be able to cater to them or not. If you are clear about what you are looking for, all you need to do is listen to what the contractor answers and you will know for sure if he is the right person for the job or not. But before that can happen, you need to be particular about what you are looking for and devise the “right” questions accordingly.
One question, “Is there a warranty?” is critical! As a preferred contractor that ensures the highest set of standards on installation, our suppliers allow us to pass along better warranties to our customers than other contractors are able to – that use the same exact supplies! Be sure to compare warranties on the labor and products that are being used in your home.
Check Their Reputation
The Internet has transformed our industry and really cleaned up many of the shady contractors out there. We encourage our prospective customers to check our reviews online. Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau… we encourage you to read through all of them to get a feel for the contractor to ensure they have experience, work well with their customers, and maintain a great satisfaction level.
And, of course, if you ask us for references for similar jobs, we can provide some happy customers for you to speak to. A robust list of reviews and references is important – it doesn’t just show that the contractor cares, it shows that they have experience with jobs like yours!
How Much Does It Cost?
Regardless of how friendly or professional a contractor might be, the fact of the matter is that they need to be paid for their job at the end of the day. An experienced home contractor is going to work with you to see if repairs may be covered by your insurance or warranties and to identify any discounts you may qualify for. When it comes to payment, it is important for you to negotiate a payment schedule in advance, especially if the job will be stretched over a longer span of time. You need to ensure that your liquidity matches your contractor’s payment expectations so that there is no reason for friction on the job afterward.
The payment schedule proposed by the contractor has got the potential of bringing the contractor’s work ethic and financial status into light as well. If they want a large chunk of the money even before the job has even started, it might towards the possibility of them being worried about you not paying the rest after you have seen their work. A good contractor works for money, no doubt; but his primary concern is not the money but the job at hand.
Get Things Written Down
If you feel that you are satisfied with what a contractor has got to offer, you should wait no time at all before getting things written down on a contract and signed. The contract should discuss in detail every step of the project: from the period of the job to the payment plan to the materials required to accidental liability to everything else that might be of importance in a given scenario. Remember: you can never have too much included in a contract. Draw up a contract that covers EVERYTHING and it will go a long way towards ensuring that the job gets completed with minimal fuss.
If the contractor shows reservations on your insistence of a clear contractor, then it should instantly ring alarm bells. Instead of assuming that the contractor is offended by the apparent level of “mistrust” on your part, you should try to uncover why the contractor does not agree with a clause or the whole of the contract. It might indicate that the contractor does not intend to deliver on all that has been promised, which is the reason why you should cut your ties with such a contractor without a moment’s delay.
When you take it all into perspective, you have got to say that there is a lot of thought and consideration that needs to be put in before hiring a contractor. Bearing this in mind, never decide on hiring a contractor in haste. The quality of the job and the condition of your property is dependent upon it!