As you already realize, choosing a contractor isn’t just about price. There are numerous factors you need to consider and this often seems like a daunting task. These factors can relate to aesthetic expectations, value added products and services, legal concerns, and so on. Sometimes as homeowner you can get to feeling anxious because you get the feeling you may not know everything or, as the accurate cliché goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. We’ve provided a list of items to consider when choosing your next contractor. We know we may not have included every item so, if you think of one please let us know.
Here they are:
- What are the warranties, both from the contractor and the manufacturers? Are these warranties verifiable in writing? Be certain to understand how much of the warranty is prorated and doesn’t excessively diminish with time. Be sure after five years your lifetime warranty only covers five percent of costs.
- Is the contractor leading you toward certain products or materials and, if so, why? A contractor will prefer one product over another for different reasons. One is because there is verifiable evidence and/or experience that proves one product is superior to all the others.
- Are there numerous projects done by the contractor that you can view that have the products you are looking to have installed and if so, done in a quality manner? Ensure the contractor’s level of expertise and overall experience exist in large enough scale to provide you a satisfactory level of comfort.
- What are the payment terms? What are the cancellation policies? Ensure you know the schedule of payments and what must take place before stepped or final payments are made.
- Does the company offer lien waivers, both for labor and material? This is a relatively unknown, but very important aspect, of project completion. A lien waiver removes any likelihood of having a mechanics lien placed on your home for any unpaid balances. Upon request, a professional contractor will provide a lien waiver upon final payment which tells you he will not be able to lien your property for non-payment. Also, a material waiver can be provided to show all payments for any major material deliveries has been made by the contractor. If you pay the contractor and he doesn’t pay his supplier guess who gets stuck with the bill? You guessed it, the homeowner without the waiver.
- Does the company have liability and workman’s compensation insurance? Once again, guess who can get sued if the contractor doesn’t have these two items. Any contractor can easily provide an insurance certificate proving there is ample insurance coverage.