How Do You Choose A Qualified Contractor?

July 03, 2018
How To Choose a Qualified Contractor

Everyone has the same questions…but are they the right ones?

How much does it cost? When can you start work?

These are very important concerns, however, there may be more to consider before choosing the right contractor for your project.

HERE’S HOW TO CHOOSE A QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR

Is the low-bid contractor providing a fair price?

  • Studies clearly show that most dissatisfaction involves the lowest bid contractor.
  • Be sure to spend one hour with each contractor discussing problems, products, and prices.

Does the business have a physical address?

  • Be sure to double-check the company’s name and address on bbb.org.
  • Automatically reject any contractor without a permanent place of business.
  • If the contractor is not permanently established, how can you be sure the work will get done?
  • Does the contractor provide a workmanship warranty to address service needs in the future?
  • What would you do if the project fails, and you are financially harmed?
  • What if the contractor doesn’t finish the work, and they stop answering your calls?

How long has the company been established?

  • Visit the contractor’s place of business. Does it appear that they have been there for years?
  • Select a company that you can call if a problem arises in the future.
  • Don’t be timid about asking pointed questions, this proves you are an intelligent buyer.
  • A contractor that has been in business for less than five years could be financially unstable.
  • Check references carefully – long term references prove the longevity of their work.
  • A residential contractor may be well established, however, what is their experience with commercial?
  • How long has the contractor been doing commercial flat roofing projects?

Is the company licensed, insured and bonded?

  • Owners have been financially harmed by uninsured or inadequately insured contractors.
  • Request the contractor’s Certificate of Insurance, Liability, and Worker’s Comp information.
  • Be aware that owners can be sued for injuries on their property if the contractor is not insured.
  • Don’t be fooled by the self-employed contractor – they need proper insurance as well.
  • Today, insurance to protect the workers and your property is a significant cost of the project.
  • The low bid estimate may be the result of a contractor not having proper insurance.

Does the business employ a Safety Director?

  • Safety violations can shut down projects and leave the owner with unfinished work.
  • Owners have been stuck with contractors unwilling to pay the fines and return to the job-site.

Does the company belong to any trade associations?

  • You can call the association and get more details about the contractor.
  • Does the contractor offer continuing education for their employees?

How does the contractor handle complaints?

  • Reject any contractor that has NEVER had a complaint. No contractor is perfect.
  • Ask the contractor about a problem they encountered. How was it resolved?

Does the business have a workmanship warranty?

  • A good workmanship warranty is typically 3-5 years to protect the installation.
  • The warranty sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t real.
  • A long-term warranty is provided by the manufacturer of the product being installed.
  • The product warranty is only valid if the contractor is “certified” to install the product.
  • You can call the manufacturer to determine if the contractor is in good standing.

Call Us Today

If you are in need of roofing, windows, siding or gutter work, please contact us today and set up an appointment. McKinnis is safely serving the Blair, Omaha, and Lincoln areas, and we would be happy to help you with your next home exterior project!