Remodeling, repairing or renovating your home can be an exciting and rewarding project. But even the most basic home improvements can become a headache if you fail to hire the right contractor for the job. Here are five key questions to ask when considering a contractor to work on your home.
1. Does the contractor have the right experience? – Just because a company has been around for decades does not mean they have gained the experience necessary for your particular home improvement needs. A company that is focused on basement remodeling is not likely to have much experience in roofing. Make sure you get a contractor who can perform the work you need done, not just a general “handyman” who might be learning new skills at your expense.
2. Is the contractor insured? – This is a critical question to ask. The contractor working in or on your home should have both liability coverage and workers’ compensation insurance. Ask to see a current certificate of insurance as proof of their coverage. Otherwise, if an accident or injury occurs on your property, you are the one who may be held liable. Such liability may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy, meaning you would face expensive litigation on your own.
3. Will the contractor provide a written estimate, and then honor it? – If a contractor gives you a “ballpark” estimate and tells you not to worry, run! Insist on a detailed, written and signed proposal that includes specifics on materials, labor costs, scheduling, warranties and provisions for what constitutes “extra work” that may be billed separately. You should also insist on a payment schedule that progresses as the job progresses. Otherwise you may end up being surprised by a much larger invoice at the end of the project.
4. Is the contractor factory-trained by the manufacturers whose products he installs? – The answer may appear to be obvious, but you would be surprised at how many contractors install products and materials without the proper training or certification. This can be a HUGE problem down the road if there is a problem because most manufacturers will not honor a materials warranty unless their product was installed by contractor they have trained or otherwise approved. A guy with a pickup truck who shops for materials at the local home store is very unlikely to be factory-trained, leaving you exposed if there is a problem or product failure.
5. What guarantees and warranties does the contractor provide? – In addition to the manufacturer warranties on products and materials, you should insist on a quality guarantee on the contractor’s workmanship. A minimum of five years is safe, during which time any problems with the work should be corrected at no cost to you by the contractor. Without a written guarantee, you have no recourse if any part of your home improvement should fail to perform as promised.
If you choose Twin Cities Siding Professionals as your contractor you can check off all five of these important concerns! Call us at (651) 967-0873, or visit our web site at tcsidingprofessionals.com for a FREE in-home evaluation and estimate.