Hello World! This is Terry Stamman, President of Twin Cities Siding Professionals based in St. Paul, Minnesota. This is my first Blog. See pic below of me and my wife.
Terry and Kristen Stamman
The purpose of this Blog is to share with you my thoughts, concerns, my victories, my challenges about my business and the home improvement industry. And maybe sometimes I may write about something unrelated like why the Vikings can’t win a Super Bowl!
Below is my first blog post. I hope you like it!
Because if you actually take the time to ask the questions it suggests, you can almost assure yourself of having a very positive contractor experience. And after all, isn’t that what every homeowner wants out of their home improvement project? As a matter of fact, our entire website is dedicated to informing homeowners about what we do and things you should know before you make such a big investment. We try to cover all of the details because we want you, the homeowner to understand that paying attention to all of those details makes for a good project because the product you pick only contributes 20% of your ultimate satisfaction, the contractor you choose contributes 80%.
But then it occurred to us…
…rarely do you hear a contractor share with a homeowner some things that he, the contractor, must know when giving an estimate and installing a roof.
With this said…We would like to offer…
The Four Things Your Contractor Must Know BEFORE Giving You an Estimate.
1) The contractor should know how important it is to protect the property of the homeowner and properly clean up after each day and especially after the job is done. The contractor should know that this is extremely important to a homeowner. Do they make sure that the landscaping doesn’t get damaged or destroyed? Is he picking up every nail and piece of debris at the end of each day? A contractor should know that if they take care of your property and clean up so that it is almost impossible for you to know they were there…you will almost surely recommend that contractor if all else goes well.
2) A contractor should know that you are going to ask for references. A reputable contractor should have a book of references and many happy customers in hand when he gives you an estimate. A contractor should know that it is very important for a homeowner to check these references so you should be able to pick and choose any ones you wish. It is not enough to just ask for references. Pick at least 5 and then you need to actually call them. Every time we don’t check references on people we hire, we always regret it! It takes a little time but if you really want to make sure you’re covering all the bases, then make the phone calls and make sure the contactor you are considering is the real deal. Ask the referred homeowner if they would hire the contractor again. That is the #1 thing you need to know. If the homeowner says yes than you have got yourself a potential winner.
3) Your contractor must know the importance of proper communications between them and you. Ask about what “proper communication” means to any contractor you might want to hire. How will you find out about your warranty, what’s covered and how to maintain it? Does the contractor inform you at the end of each day what was accomplished, what’s happening next and when? Delays in your project can happen. How will you learn about such delays and when to expect them to return? Will they tell you as soon as they find something outside the original scope of work or will they just do it and tell you about it when they present a higher final bill?
4,) Your contractor must know that you’ll appreciate “Good – Better – Best” solution options, along with the benefits and any drawbacks of each, so that you can easily determine your best deal for price AND value. And once an option is selected, your contractor should know that you would like several options on how to pay. If your credit is good you may want a no interest payment plan. At least you’ll want the option to pay by credit card and want your deposit amount to be no more than 33%. If your contractor needs more than 33% than that tells you he may be having financial problems. And if the contractor is having financial troubles, that could spell big potential trouble for you at some point. What if he can’t finish your job because he can’t pay his crew or buy the materials called for in your contract? What if he isn’t around to make repairs on items covered by your warranty? What if there is a leak? Who do you call if the contractor goes out of business? Sometimes you can tell a lot by a little information.
The above covers the things we believe a contractor should know when working with a homeowner. Some of these seem obvious but you would be surprised how many contractors will show up to perform a project, or even conduct an estimate, and not take the time to make sure that you are protected and informed. We hope this Blog helps you to make sure that you have a very successful contracting experience, soon or in the future.
If you have any questions of comments please feel free to
(James Hardie Siding, Roofing, Windows, Doors)