When choosing a contractor for any project – small or large – there is a lot more to consider than just price. Insurance, customer satisfaction, years in business and expectations are a few of the indicators owners and property managers should weigh before committing to a contractor.
1. Legitimate Insurance & Bonding:
Comprehensive contractors insurance, which will protect you and your clients, is expensive, causing many contractors to be improperly insured or not insured at all. Before hiring a contractor, request a copy of the contractor’s insurance and verify liability and worker’s compensation coverage for the specific job being performed.
2. Referrals and Customer Reviews
A great way to find a contractor for your project is to ask around! Referrals from peers, association members, friends, and family who have previously hired the contractor gives insight into the quality of work that the contractor performs and the customer experience they offer. Also, don’t be shy about asking a contractor for references for your type of specific project, so you can feel comfortable with their level of expertise.
3. Years in Business
Make sure to consider the history of the company when choosing a project, especially when a warranty is important to you. According to the Small Business Administration, 96% of all contracting businesses fail within the first five years. In order for a workmanship warranty to be honored, the contractor must still be in business at the time of warranty redemption.
4. Established Expectations
A detailed contract is imperative to know your expectations and timeline are clear. Reputable contractors also review with you any expectations they have – whether it is moving cars, providing access, a payment schedule, etc. They will also make it clear that seasonal variations and weather may impact your project and make you aware of any possible change orders that may be required once work starts.