Finding a quality improvement contractor is not always easy. No matter who can sell you something that sounds good, but how do you know if you really are dealing with a quality company? Home improvement companies are of all kinds, from crooks to beginners to companies that have been in business for decades. These ten tips will help you choose the best fit for you no matter what type of business, from a window replacement contractor to a roofer you may need.
1) Does the company offer free quotes?
Never leave with a company that does not value your relationship with you enough to make a free estimate. When you choose a business, you will spend a lot of money with them, so they should be ready to invest a little time in you.
2) Does the company offer an honest estimate? Is it detailed?
Many people do not know that there is a difference between an estimate and an offer. An offer is a legally binding statement, while an estimate is not. Some unscrupulous companies will sell an estimate too low to then hit you on the back with "fees" on which they clung. If you get detailed and realistic prices and deadlines, you increase the odds that it is an honest estimate. In addition, the detailed estimate gives you legal recourse if the company performs a job that you have not allowed.
3) What kind of customer guarantee does the home improvement business give?
How long do you have to report problems? What type of certification can a renovation contractor give to his workers? What type and quality of materials do they use? You should ask these questions at the initial meeting and get it in writing for any contract. If the answers are vague or misleading, get started.
4) How willing is the company to work according to your schedule?
Of course, you do not need people in your home who you do not know. However, some home improvement work can take days or even weeks to complete? If the job is only outside, say that you have a roof replaced, you do not need to be there. However, if you must enter your home, are they ready to work with your schedule?
5) Is the contractor insured and what protection do you get? Do you have a responsibility?
Let's say that you have your roof fixed and that a worker falls into your bushes, breaking his arm. Who is responsible for taking this worker to the hospital, who is responsible for paying the bill, and who is responsible for what? Any decent company is insured and does not hold you responsible for common accidents in the line of work. Get all the responsibilities stated in the contract.
6) Is the entrepreneur really competent in the field you want to improve?
If you want to replace energy efficient windows, a "general contractor" who has done the roofing for fifteen years is probably not the right contractor for you. Make sure the home improvement contractor you choose has extensive detailed experience of the specific improvements you have made.
7) Does the company belong to the local Better Business Bureau?
BBB seals do not always mean much on the Internet, but they still pull their weight locally. If, for example, you live in Cincinnati, Ohio and want to know the value of a contractor, the entrepreneur who is part of the local Business Ethics Office has been around for years and has the reputation to maintain, while one who does not can be a company on the fly.
8) Does the company offer financing? If so, is it legitimate?
Some companies are large enough to offer their own financing. Others do not want to deal with the headache of a finance ministry. If the financing provided by the entrepreneur is important to you, be clear when you talk to entrepreneurs. If you are offered funding, check it carefully. Do they do it at home? Do they have an arrangement with a bank? Do they charge a reasonable or too high interest rate? When do the payments begin? All funding is, basically, the extension of a line of credit. If the company does not do the same checks as a credit card company, look twice.
9) Does the contractor have offices that you can visit?
Some entrepreneurs are specialists in one person and can even work from a home office, while others are larger companies with their own offices. No matter what kind or size of contractor you deal with, you should be able to visit an office. You will not get any home improvement from a business across the country, you will get it locally. Therefore, their physical offices should be accessible and professional. If you can not visit their office, the business could easily be a night flight operation to take your deposit and disappear.
10) Can you obtain references that you can consult and call yourself? Would references be ready to show you around to see examples of the work of the home improvement company?
This one should be self-evident, but all too often it's a detail that is overlooked in the fury of home improvement contracts. Can you see examples of their work? Can we talk to the people they worked for in the past? One reference does not cut it, no more than three that you do not find in the directory. No matter who can claim to be three different people, and it is easy to get call forwarding for three different numbers.