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Hiring a Contractor can be Complicated, but it's Not Impossible:
When you are considering hiring a contractor, there are many things to look out for. By using some common sense and a little investigative know-how, you can avoid some of the issues common to most bad experiences. Within this article we will provide many of the questions you need to ask, and some of the best moves to make to ensure that your experience is a good one.
Is This Contractor Required to Be Licensed?
Many states and local municipalities require contractors to be licensed. This typically means that they will take certain tests to prove that they have a working knowledge of the services they provide, and also the code requirements and other laws in your area.
Are You a Licensed Contractor?
If a license is required in your area, be sure that you find a contractor that is licensed, and that license is in good standing. You can check state or local authority websites to find out a lot about your potential contractor.
Do You Carry Insurance?
Most established contractors will carry insurance that will cover any accidental damage they may inflict on your property, as well as employees who may be working on your project. Many licensing agencies will require certain levels of insurance based on the projects they take on. A good contractor carries a current insurance policy that can be verified with a phone call to the agent.
How Long have you been in Business?
A general rule of thumb is that the longer a contractor has been in business, the better they are. But this is not always the case. Oftentimes a contractor who is just starting their business is a talented installer who decided to go out on their own. So while length of time in business can be helpful, you will need to decide if you are comfortable with someone who is just starting out.
Do you have references?
Past customer experiences are a great way to learn more about a contractor. If they have a long list of great testimonials, you are more likely to be happy with their services. If you are happy with the service you receive, take the time to write a testimonial for the contractor. They will greatly appreciate it.
Does the Contractor have Online Reviews?
It is becoming much easier to find reviews of companies online, and roofing contractors are no exception. Doing a bit of research on a company in advance can save you a great deal of headache in the future.
Ask For Photos of past Projects:
Ask to see photos of past projects, whether they are on their website or simply on their phone. This is a great way to see what they have done in the past, and to ensure that they have actually completed the projects they have undertaken.
Are the Terms of the contract clearly defined?
The proposal that you receive from any contractor should be clear, easy to read, and define all of the work to be done. It should also be clear when payments are to be made by you, and how much each of those payments are to be. Keeping you informed is a big part of our job, but having everything in writing protects both parties.
Use Common Sense:
Putting some thought into your decision in advance can save you a great deal of difficulty in the future. You should hire a company who meets your expectations and with whom you are comfortable.
Cheaper is not Better:
Contractors who offer a price that is substantially lower should be given a great deal of scrutiny. Make sure that they are going to be installing the same quality products, and doing it in the same way. Money is only saved by cutting corners, not carrying insurance or a license, and can often have a profound affect on the outcome of your project.