You’re all set to get going on that project that will make your home’s exterior look like new.
Whether you’re having a full roof replacement, adding in some new windows, or just having someone repair a few sections of faded siding, finding the right contractor is important to a smooth, professional project.
But with nearly anyone able to make a post online saying they’re a “contractor,” how do you know when you’ve got a real, honest-to-goodness professional contractor and when you’ve just got a guy with a hammer and no experience?
Here are 4 steps for finding the right contractor for your project:
Do Your Research
Start with a list of several potential contractors in your area. Spend some time looking into each of them.
But don’t just rely on what their websites say about them. Anyone can cleverly craft a website that showcases results and experience they don’t actually have.
Google the name and see if there are any online reviews about their work, and check to see if there are any publicly available legal complaints against them. You can even check with your local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau to ensure you’re getting a licensed company allowed to do business in your area.
Ask for References
Before you even schedule an interview with a company, ask them for some references.
A reputable company that does quality work should be able to easily produce a list of three to five former customers for whom they know they did good work.
Call or email each of these references, and ask them for their honest feedback about their experience working with the company. Ask if they have photos they could send you so you can see the quality of their work first-hand.
Most people that a company provides as references are going to give glowing recommendations (They wouldn’t be so ready to give out the person’s contact information if they knew they were going to say bad things!), so take some of what you hear with a grain of salt. However, being able to produce references is important to knowing whether you’re working with a quality company.
Conduct an Interview
This is where the rubber really meets the road in choosing a high-quality, professional contractor.
During this interview, ask about the company’s normal practices on a job site, such as who handles client communications, whether they haul away their own trash, and what their typical working hours are.
Some key questions to ask include:
- Are you licensed in the state? Can I see a copy of your license?
- Do you carry insurance, including worker’s compensation insurance?
- What sort of warranties or guarantees do you make on your work?
- What are your policies regarding inclement weather?
- How long does a typical job take?
- Do you have just one crew, or multiple crews?
- Who will I contact if I have questions or concerns during my project?
- When do you start work for the day? When do you finish work for the day?
- How do you handle clean-up following my project?
- Do you offer any financing options for my project?
- Have you ever had a judgment or lawsuit filed against you for your work?
Generally, you want to interview at least two companies, possibly more depending on how large or expensive your project is.
While the answers to your questions are important, part of the reason you want to conduct this interview is to get more of a sense of who the business owner is and whether you feel you could have a good working relationship.
Once you’ve learned more about each of the contractors on your list – and possibly eliminated one or two – it’s time to move on to the stage of getting estimates.
Estimates should always be done by visiting your home and looking at the work you want done. Online or over the phone estimates are preliminary and don’t take into account all the potential problems that could arise from your project.
You may find wild differences between the quotes from two different companies, but chances are that most will be similar.
Once you’ve got all these quotes in hand, carefully compare them, line by line, to see if they differ in any significant ways. In some cases, you may pay a little bit more, but you get a huge value add such as an extended warranty or free inspections for a certain period of time.
Superior Roofing Contractor in Maryland
At ARCH Exteriors, we work hard to provide quality service and products to each of our customers. We treat your home like our own, so we always do our best work and fully clean up after ourselves. It’s what you deserve!
If you’re ready to tackle that roof or siding replacement project, need new windows, or have gutters that are sagging and rusting, trust the team at ARCH Exteriors. Schedule an estimate today!