Choosing A Contractor:
When hiring a contractor to do any construction be to sure qualify them. Get at least 3 bids, check to be sure the Contractor is licensed and insured, check the Contractors rating with the BBB and other handy places throughout the Internet. You might even want to do a search engine search with their Business Name or the name of the Owner of the company in it with the word scam, or similar terms. (Most of the time if they have a bad habit of taking advantage of people, someone will rant and rave about it online somewhere.)
Some helpful hints:
Does this Contractor have the proper knowledge and equipment to complete the project? If your hire a Contractor to come roof your house and they have more questions than you do, they probably shouldn’t be roofing a house. Most Contractors would be more than willing to explain step by step procedures on how they plan on erecting your new structure. They will bring their own tools and most can supply their own power with generators. If they ask you to use your ladder, hammer, extension cords, wheelbarrow, or water hose; you might have the wrong guy for the job.
Is the Contractor insured and bonded? Ask them to provide proof of insurance. Most contractors have this information on hand. Call their insurance agent make sure they are up to date on their insurance and bond. (You don’t want them hurting themselves on your property and you picking up the tab.)
Has this Contractor been taking advantage of people and doing less than acceptable work? Poke around on the Internet you might be surprised on what you can come up with. People love to rant and rave about how they were mistreated. Make sure when you are doing your search to enter negative search terms such as: “Joe’s Roofing Scam” or “Warning about Joe’s Roof Company”. A couple hours of research might save you thousands of dollars on fixing Joe’s mistakes. (Not many people rant and rave about how good they were treated. If you get great service remember WORD OF MOUTH is the best form of repaying them.)
How long has this Contractor been in business. Now I am not saying someone that just started their business this year won’t do a good job. However if they have been in business for 15 years, there is a reason for that.
How long has this Contractor had the same phone number? This is one of t newest tricks that seem to be getting very popular, some “storm chasers” or “fly by night” Contractors (Scammers). Will use pre-paid cell phones as their business phone. When they take advantage of enough people and get the law after them they will go get another one. If they have had the same number for a decade then chances are they have been in business for a while.
Check the Contractors references. Ask for references and actually check them. Most of the time when you ask for references they can provide phone numbers and addresses. This is important: a contractor will not give his worst job as a reference. Keep in mind, they are going to give you the best work they do as a reference. So take a careful look at some of the Contractors work instead of calling, if the job just looks ok or average then move on to the next contractor, you want the work done to your property to look OUTSTANDING!