By Mark Accettullo, Business Development Officer
1) Make sure the contractors you hire are licensed. This one seems obvious, but it needs to be taken seriously. Usually you can look up license information online pretty easily through state website. For instance, in the state of Virginia you can look up license info at this link: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/licenselookup/
2) Check to make sure they have insurance. Insurance protects your family and your home. A contractor that is operating without insurance should not be allowed to work on your property. Any properly insured contractor will be able to provide a certificate of insurance from their provider without any problems if they are in good standing.
3) Contract. Make sure you sign a contract with whomever you have working in your home. There is a reason why we are called contractors. What we do revolves around signing a contract for work in client’s homes. A good contract outlines scope of work, has a draw schedule, time frame, and general terms and conditions that are fair for both contractor and homeowner.
4) Warranty. The state of Virginia requires that every contract provide at least one year warranty for the work performed in most instances. While this is required, look for contractors that provide a longer warranty. You will know they stand behind their workmanship and will use quality products.
5) Referrals. Any contractor that has been around a while should be able to provide a wide array of referrals without any problems.
6) Local vendors. Finding a local contractor that you are happy with is one thing. Finding local vendors is something that all organized contractors should be able to provide for their clients. Once the scope of work is defined there is usually some shopping involved in order to purchase finished products. This might be cabinets, counter tops, tile, or plumbing hardware. Having a contractor that already has relationships with each of these vendors will save you time and money.
7) What type of business is your contractor in? Have you ever thought about this question before when hiring a remodeling contractor? Most contractors believe there are in the business of repairing things, but here at Hambleton we believe that our first job is customer service, whether that be with communication or keeping your home clean as much as possible throughout the project. Our main goal is to provide good service. We just so happen to repair homes, which we love doing!
8) Clear and systematic processes. This one may be hard to find out before starting the work with a contractor. Any good contractor that has been around more than five years should have some systems or practices they have put in place and abide by. This could be from the bidding process or in the production department. A good question would be “what systems do you have to keep my job on schedule?” There should be some concrete answers or procedures that they have to keep your job on schedule and inform you of any completion date changes.
I hope this info helps you in the future!
A contractor that is operating without insurance should not be allowed to work on your property.
Any contractor that has been around a while should be able to provide a wide array of referrals without any problems.