Did You Know Contractors Are The #1 Industry To Receive Inquires In America According To The BBB?
I have to confess I was more than a little shocked to hear this. I had no clue that contractors where ahead of car mechanics and used car sales. However, with over 1,700 contractors in Utah and Salt Lake County alone, there is no way the BBB can keep track of all of them.
With this information, your task of selecting a contractor to build, renovate and/or remodel what may be your largest investment has just become a more daunting task. Not to worry. We are hear to help you out. Just keep reading and when you are done, make sure your request our FREE report: Home Remodel Success Strategies: 4 Secrets to Easing Stress During Your Home Remodel!
14 Things To Demand To See Before Hiring A Contractor Of Any Type.
You need to make sure that any contractor you do business with has proven themselves in the past, and will be there if you need them in the future. Don’t just ASK the contractor if they are stable; look for tangible proof of longevity and financial stability by asking for the items listed on this page
- Company Tangibles
- Make sure that any contractor you’re dealing with is substantial enough to have all the normal business functions. For example: an phone number that someone will answer or return calls, website, staff, and basic equipment.
- Insurance Certificate
- You need to know if you contractor carries general liability insurance for both commercial and residential projects. A sizable contractor will carry no less than $500.000…and usually around $1,000,000 of coverage. If your contractor’s insurance policy can’t cover potential damages, then the contractor would be personally liable. If he cannot cover the damages himself, you will have no legal recourse and will end up paying for any possible damages or injuries yourself. Over half of contractors are not financially stable… and don’t carry proper insurance coverage to protect you against losses.
- Permits will need to be presented after acceptance of the bid. This is to notify the city of any structural changes to the property and to allow city inspectors check on the project to make sure everything meets code.
- Certifications, Licenses,
- Make sure the contractor has the required licenses and permits and has been operating under the same name for a minimum of 5 years. Many contractors open and close their doors multiple times to avoid past customer complaints.
You can tell a great deal about a contractor based on what others are saying about them particularly their customers. Make sure you get the name and contact information of past clients so you can actually check the quality and professionalism of your contractor.
- If a contractor has been in business for any length of time—and doing a good job—they will most likely have been written about in a magazine or newspaper, received an award of some kind, or become certified from an association or trade organization. Any company that can’t produce at least SOME of these kinds of accolades might not be worthy of accolades!
- A good contractor will not only have written and/or video testimonials, but will also have references with contact information of past clients that you can call and ask questions about the quality of the contractors work and if there were any problems and how they were handled.
A good company doesn’t just do good work. They also understand that when dealing with customers it’s oftentimes the little things that make a big difference. You should find a contractor that shows you respect by the way they treat you, the way they look, the way they treat your property, and how they pay attention to details.
- Worker Conduct Agreement
- This compliance agreement, signed by the workers, is a contract prohibiting the use of alcohol, drugs, foul language, misconduct, or other bad behavior on a job site. It also gives appearance standards. Keep in mind that not everything is perfect but this agreement will greatly reduce the likelihood of problem
- Bid Specifications
- Many people are unaware that there are varying levels of job bid specifications. Most contractors provide no written bid or basic receipt or invoice. The minimum you should accept is a line item bid, which details the type and amount of materials to be used. Even better than a bid is a formal written estimate with a detailed scope which lists measurements, and details the type and amount of materials to be used. Always make sure the bid has the contractor’s signature on it.
- No Sales Pressure Agreement
- Many unethical contractors will resort to high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy before you’ve had an opportunity to do proper due diligence on them. If you know nothing about the contractor prior to the sales call (from literature, references, online information), and they give you a low-ball price “but only if you buy right this minute,” you should be wary. Any time you feel uncomfortable or unduly pressured in a sales environment, you should ask the contractor to “back off.” Reputable companies will have a no-tricks, no-pressure sales pledge signed by the owner, sales manager, and each sales associate.
- Job site Cleanup Roster
- Your home and yard should be cleared of debris, and dangerous materials daily by the crew. After the job is completed, a total clean-up should take place, including nail/screw pickup and removal of any hazardous materials in your house or yard. Make sure your contractor has a pre-determined daily job site cleanup routine, and a more thorough cleanup routine upon completion of the job.
Ultimately, a contractor has to be competent to do the job right the first time. Competence comes as a result of training, experience, and good old-fashioned hard work. As you evaluate a contractor, look for signs that they can do the job right the first time
- Job site Photos and videos.
- A contractor who serves his customers well should be proud to present pictures/videos of their work. Ask to see photos of completed jobs similar to what you will be doing. If pictures/videos are not available, beware.
- Trust and Integrity
- Trust in a company that knows your home, select a contractor that has many areas of expertise; eliminating the hassle of hiring and dealing with multiple contractors for the same job. Having to hire a subcontractor will happen, but the better experience the crew of your general has the less that will be required. Be aware that such things as HVAC is a separate license from being a general so they will need to be brought in .
- 3 Year Labor Warranty
- For something to last it has to be done right the first time. If a contractor is unwilling to back his work you can bet down the not-so-distant road you’ll start having troubles. We know our work will last. that’s why we’ll give you a 3 Year Labor Warranty instead of the industry-standard 1 Year.
- No Nonsense Materials Warranty
- Bottom line, a contractor should only use manufacturers who stand behind their materials. The highest level of manufacturer warranty is completely transferable, and covers any possible defect in materials. Naturally, you’ll want to check the stability and reputation of the manufacturer to make sure they’ll actually be around to fulfill on the warranty if necessary, and to find out if they’ve taken the time and effort to fulfill for others who have needed it already.