Before Hiring Any
You have the right to be concerned with any home improvement contractor. We’ve been in the contracting world for more than 30 years and wish more homeowners would begin as you are, by asking questions. Too often we’ve seen homeowners sign a contract with a contractor they found in the Yellow Pages with the largest ad or the first listing in Google. Many of us have made the mistake of contracting with a company because of the “nice salesman”, without further investigating the company and regretted it.
Our homes are typically the largest investment and we need to take time to ensure that we are hiring reputable home improvement contractors. Otherwise we could be making repairs after the job is completed, or overpaying or even worse ending up in court. There are many “good guy” contractors who make an honest living by serving others and they are not difficult to find, but we must take our time and do our homework. Below are six tips to help you find the best home improvement contractor.
1. Verify insurance. Workers Compensation insurance protects you if a worker is injured on your property. Liability Insurance protects you if any of your property is damaged.
2. Get all estimates and warrantee’s in writing. All warranties and estimates must be detailed in writing. It will help protect you as a consumer and avoid misunderstandings. Also, does the estimate include labor and materials? Does the warrantee include labor and materials? Verify how they handle change orders?
3. Check references. Talk with past customers and ask them if they would use this contractor again? Does the company stand behind their warranties? Do they show up on time? Would you refer them to their friends and neighbors? What would be the one thing they should improve? . . . Don’t hesitate to ask, most people are glad to help.
4. How long has the company been in business? Warranties are as good as the company. If they are out of business, in many cases so is your warranty.
5. Verify license. Check with your state licensing department. If a license is applicable for your project, the state may help protect you in case of faulty workmanship. If a permit is needed, ensure the contractor picks it up, not the homeowner. Verify any Professional Builder's License here through the State of Michigan. Our Residential Builder's License # is 2102125161
6. Multiple quotes. Get an estimate from multiple contractors to ensure you are comparing apples with apples. Many very low priced estimates do not include the entire project.
By asking these questions, it will help you avoid being ripped off or over charged. Any reputable home improvement company will gladly provide you with the information in the aforementioned list. If the contractor will not provide the information or are irritated by your questions, it will help make your decision easier - Do Not Use Them. Most home improvement contractors are “good guy’s”. Ask the right questions and you will find them.