How to Enjoy your Patio, Porch, Deck or Garden
How to Find Reputable Contractors!
Guide to help find local reputable contractors!
- During your meetings, which should be a fair exchange between the party contracting and the prospective contractor, gauge your feelings and impressions you have about the person/organization you would be dealing with.
- Do they seem reputable and reliable?
- Is this a representative or salesperson of the company and if so, who will be onsite handling the project?
- Know before signing. And be wary of attempts that get you to sign right now. Higher involvement decisions by nature require more time.
- Does the person strike you as being knowledgeable and not just versed on the subject?
- Given the setting and your own set of circumstances/nature of the work, were appropriate product samples available or at least made reference to?
- How many years have they been in the business? [Which also raises the question of financial stability and ability to stand behind a warranty].
- How closely does their experience and track record related to your own project?
- Have they been diverse in the sense that they’ll be able to cope with an hidden unforeseeable that may rear, and fairly at that?
- Look at your initial mode of contact. If they do or don’t come by way of reference from associates, friends, or from those already in the business.
- Still do your part. Become clear on the issues of cleanliness, professionalism and regard for the project overall from inception to beyond completion?
- Do their projects come in on budget and on time. Or within the timetable relied on for larger scale projects?
- Does the company utilize subcontractors versus employees. [for the project receiver, the subcontractor arrangement can have disadvantages such as delays in completion, quality of work issues, and not as much influence over the finished product while employee-roles offer greater consistency as a whole. But this is no universal rule by any wild stretch.]
- Obtain at total of at least three references in any case.
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau for registered complaints and current status of these, company history, and whether any outstanding issues have been resolved.
- While the low bidder is favorable to many, and is usually most often chosen, consider what you may be paying for in trade for the lesser price; if at all. Are quality of materials possibly being sacrificed?
- Also along with costs, you’ll want to consider the payment arrangements. Specifically the percentage of retention or holdback – the amount withheld until completion, which is factored as an allocation to finish your project in the event the chosen contractor does not complete satisfactorily.
- Requirements vary from state to state. Check with your state department of regulation or licensing board or, county building department to get a grasp on.
- Also don’t take on good faith that the license won’t expire during your said project so confirm expiration dates too.
- Have specified any product/labor offered and for what duration.
- What exactly does the guarantee cover? All labor and material ? Or will labor be separated out at that future date, only be stood behind by itself, as is so common.
- What circumstances and exceptions might apply to the proposed guarantee and is this guarantee in writing or only by word-of-mouth? Always this is an area that deserves extra attention and clarification.
- Lastly, make sure any applicable code requirements are adhered to and which one of you will handle the needed permits, such as filing for and later sign-off with the inspector.