Inviting a tradesman into your home to work on a project is not something that should not be taken lightly. When looking for a contractor, it can turn into a stress-filled endeavor. It doesn’t have to be.
There is a method you can follow to assure that the project is finished the way you desire. It takes planning and research on your part.
After all, you are going to spend a large portion of your savings and time with whomever you choose. I’m pretty sure you want the project done right the first time.
First impressions go a long way when you are deciding which contractor to hire. Trust is a huge issue. You must also trust your gut feelings. They are usually accurate. Photo: sifinishline.com
When Hiring A Pro
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when you are interviewing contractors:
1. Check their credentials.
This is the first step in finding your guy. Credentials are not limited to a license in a particular trade; you should check that a contractor carries his own liability insurance. If the Firm has more than one employee, they should have Worker’s Compensation on record also.
Do not simply trust that the contractors paperwork is in order upon request; you should also be able to call his insurance company and verify that his policy is valid. A surely good sign of a good contractor is one who brings his license and related paperwork to your first meeting and shows it to you without you requesting it. Most show their credentials because they’re proud of them.
2. The In-home Visit.
When a contractor arrives for your first interview, they should be clean and neatly dressed. Ask the guy if he will be the one doing the work. If it is a salesman that shows up representing the company, he or she should be a good listener and knowledgeable about your project. The contractor should be able to describe your project’s steps to you – in terms you can clearly understand.
The company spokesman should also have a humble demeanor when conversing with you; they are asking you to hire them. Your instincts should tell you if you are a good fit for each another.
3. Their appearance.
Did the company spokesperson show up to the interview on time? Did he put on shoe protection when he entered your property? Did he bring unwanted smells into your home? These simple things can really become larger issues once work starts. The company should have some sort of uniform on because it speaks of a commitment to present themselves as professional contractors. You can tell a lot about someone by just looking at their fingernails: are they trimmed neatly or do they have dirt underneath them?
4. Tools and Vehicles.
The tools that a contractor have should be in good working order. The tools should also be neatly placed in their work truck. You can tell a lot about a contractor by just inspecting their tools. Most good contractors care about how there vehicles look and how clean their tools are.
The work truck should be clean and washed. The contractor should never park in your driveway without permission. Their truck should not be loud or leaking any fluids.
5. The Estimate.
During the process of working up an estimate, depending on your project, a contractor should be in close contact with you. He should be thorough in his proposal, describing the work to be performed in detailed steps and clean-up procedures after he is done. We at Handyservices work up a written estimate for you; typed and tailored to the Client. The contractor should also call or email you when he says he will.
A red flag would be him not answering his phone calls or not giving you correspondence when he says he will. You can only imagine when work starts how things could turn out – for the worse.
6. The Contract.
The contract should include all parameters of commencement: detailed specs of your project, materials installed, costs, realistic time-frames, clean-up procedures, warranty information, and any concerns you have hashed out with the Firm. A well-written contract protects both parties equally. This should not be taken lightly.
7. Clean Up.
I put clean-up in this article because I can not stress it enough; cleaning up and maintaining a safe area of work space is very important. If a job takes more than a day, the contractors should clean the work area at the end of the work day. Everything in it’s respective place. It makes a job run much more efficiently.
8. Follow Up.
When your project is finally finished, the Firm should make several phone calls and emails to you to see how you enjoy your space, give you an opportunity to voice any concerns you may have, problems, or more work. Customer support and a warranty commitment is the standard of a great company. The contractor should be inclined to keeping in touch with you. You should want a Firm that wants you as a client for life.