Looking for a Contractor? Here’s Your Contractor Checklist
As the bad weather rolls in and causes damage to our homes, we begin to question who can and should do the repairs on our homes. Here are a few things to look for and to ask when looking for a contractor to do those needed repairs.
Is the contractor local?
Many companies, known as “storm chasers”, are based out of state. These companies bring crews with them, as well as hire local crews to handle the workload following a natural disaster. Beware that any warranty claims will be difficult to enforce through an out-of-town contractor.
Is the contractor insured?
Ask for proof. You can get a certificate from the contractor’s agent . This is the most common way.
Is the contractor registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
This is important, and under normal circumstances, this would be the most important thing to look for in a contractor.
Beware that some companies will register with the BBB and not work under that name for years. This allows a company to show an A+ rating, because no complaints were ever filed against a company that has never performed any work. This is a very common technique that “storm chasers” use.
How long has the contractor been in business?
Can they provide you with references?
Make sure to verify that these people do exist and that they have had the work done by the contractor you might hire.
Do they offer a warranty?
Beware that a warranty means nothing without a company to back it up.
Will subcontractors be used?
Do you have a bullet point for this list?
Who will be doing the work?
This is a good question to ask. The person selling the job is usually not on the job site, so find out who the foreman will be. If the salesperson does not have an answer, then don’t sign the contract.
Trust your instincts and do not feel pressured to sign anything you are not comfortable with signing. Once you have found a contractor to work with, we have a few things for you to keep in mind as the work gets done.
Working with Your Contractor
This should fit close to what your insurance adjuster has allowed. If not, you should make sure your adjuster or contractor did not miss anything. The four most common discrepancies: quantities, scope of work, materials to be used and unit cost.
Never pay 100% up front! A third down, a third upon delivery and the final third upon completion is common, but usually not necessary.
Make sure you get a lien waiver for material and labor.
Your mortgage holder will usually require this. If you are not sure what this is, please give us a call at 314-842-0960.
Remember that this is still your house and the work performed should be to your satisfaction, just like any other home improvement project. The contractor works for you. Inspect all work before authorizing a final payment.
Article courtesy of Geoffrey R. Massa
Owner, Massa Exteriors
(314) 249 – 8899