10 Questions to Consider BEFORE The Work Begins
We all hope to hire the perfect contractor for our home services needs, but in some cases it can be harder than you think! Between ensuring the technicians that are sent out can be trusted in your home and that the company itself is liable for any and all damages/injuries that occur, it can become quite a large headache if you choose wrong. Consider the questions below when planning your next home renovation, system replacement or simple repair, to ensure you don’t end up wishing you had.
1. Do you know someone who has used this contractor in the past?
Previous personal experiences can provide you with information about the quality of work, the level of customer service, and the ability to reach them after the job is done should you need to.
2. Do the company vehicles reassure you about the brand/company you selected?
If you are greeted by a dirty, unmarked van it may make you feel a bit uneasy. You shouldn’t need to worry that the contractor you have chosen may be skating around financial ruin or that they will not uphold warranty requirements.
3. Does the company have a physical address?
While many companies may start out operating out of the owner’s house, they do still have a physical address. Fly by night companies generally do not have an address listed anywhere and tend to operate out of their truck, with nothing more than a cell phone.
4. Do the employees present a trustworthy, professional demeanor & well-kempt appearance?
You want to know that the people that are coming into your home have passed background checks, are neatly groomed, in uniform, and held to company standards of professionalism.
5. Are the company employees NATE Certified Technicians?
NATE is the heating and air conditioning industry’s technician certification program; much like the ASE program fro the automotive industry. You want to be confident that the person servicing or installing your equipment has had hands on classroom training.
6. Do you receive a price guarantee BEFORE the work begins?
The days of open ended parts and labor estimates are extinct in this day and age. Today a national flat rate pricing service is primarily used, which uses the national standard times for repairs, allowing a fixed quote before work is ever began.
7. What warranties are being offered?
If a contractor is honest and confident in the work being performed, a warranty will be provided on both parts AND labor. And it will actually be honored in the chance that something does go wrong.
8. Is the contractor fully licensed & insured?
You should NEVER allow an unlicensed or uninsured contractor to work on any of your equipment on your property. Copies of general liability insurance should always be provided before work is started. In the event of any type of accident on your property in which the contractor is not insured, you, the homeowner can actually be liable for medical expenses.
9. Is the company recognizable as part of your community?
If a company is involved in their community then there is a greater stake in their local reputation than some random contractor that flies under the radar. If unforeseen problems do arise with a company deeply rooted in the local community, they will typically go above and beyond in an effort to preserve their namesake. And that is what you want.
10. Is the company part of any professional communities?
There are many trade associations and business alliances that companies can align themselves with. Companies involved in a variety of professional communities have a higher level of professionalism and expertise.