Choosing the right contractor for the job is an important first step. No matter what you are planning to do, take your time and do your research.
If you end up with the wrong contractor or some fly by night contractor, you could end up disappointed in the work, feeling swindled, and needing someone else to finish the job.
- Get a referral from someone you know.
- Hire a contractor who specializes in the type of work you need done. You need a specialist, not just a handyman. Generally a "jack-of-all-trades" is a master of none!
- Before you even start calling the contractors, check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have ever been filed or are outstanding against the contractor. See if there are any unresolved complaints. Be aware that a new contractor or one that changed his legal name to dodge complaints may not have any record of complaints with the BBB, so it is important to follow all of these steps.
- When checking with the Better Business Bureau, another important factor to keep in mind is whether or not the business is local in your market. If a business has a local office, but is regionally or nationally owned, there is the possibility that the local office has a good, clean record with the BBB, but the regional or national office does not. In addition, a local office will be able to respond quickly to a problem or issue. Check the company out via the internet for complaints nationally by using review websites. Simply by searching the name of the company and complaints or reviews brings a wealth of information.
- Check financial stability. If your contractor has trouble paying bills, your job could be put on hold or completely stopped with no supplies or paid staff. Also, find out how long the contractor has been in business? Don't choose someone brand new in town.
- Ask your contractor for copies of Worker's Compensation status and Liability Insurance certificate. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing copies of these documents. Insurance policies help protect you and your property from potential legal problems should an accident occur. Don't be afraid to ask.
- Get at least three references for your contractor for locally completed jobs the contractor has done that are similar to yours and call them. The contractor will likely give you references who had positive experiences, so be sure to ask them specific questions. See how satisfied the customers were with the job. Did the contractor clean up the work area and stay to the schedule? Was the final bill what you were told? Use references to check the contractor's current and past work history.
- Request a written estimate. Any contractor who does not provide you with a written estimate should be crossed off your list immediately. Don't base your decision on price alone. Be cautious of an extremely low bid. If receiving more than one estimate be sure to give the job details the same way to each contractor so you won't be comparing "apples and oranges".
- Read the contract carefully. Ask questions about anything you don't understand, and don't be shy about asking for changes to the contract. You are the customer. Note any follow-up or guarantees or warranties the contract provides. Ensure that the warranty is a part of the contract and don't accept that the warranty will follow. Ask if there is a cost to transfer the warranty so that you are prepared. Once you are satisfied with the contract sign it and give it to the contractor.
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AquaGuard will willing provide you with information to any of the requests above. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.