Selecting a Contractor
Many of us hire contractors to make repairs to our homes. And we all need an answer to the same two big questions; first how do I find a good contractor, and second, how do I communicate with them. The second question doesn't usually come to light until it's too late.
There are resources available to help locating reputable businesses for example; The Better Business Bureau (BBB.com). At the BBB you can find companies, their contact information, and some information on their history with clients.
Before you start shopping for a contractor, decide what you want done as far as your experience will let you. For example, do you need to find and fix a leak in the roof or do you need a new roof? Often that decision is one you will have to make with the contractor.
The second and bigger question is "How do I know what the contractor is really going to do? This is the function of the written quote or statement of work. There and many different names for this documentation but the purpose is the same—state what the contractor is going to do, by when, and for how much.
The written quote should detail exactly what the contractor intends to do and how much is to be charged for each service provided. A repair order is the instruction given to the workers telling them what to do and how much to collect (if they are charged with that responsibility). The two documents should contain the same details. Some companies will use one document for both.
Some contractors put as little information in their estimate as possible in order to keep the cost of the project low enough to be the lowest bidder. The lowest bid is not always the best bid. Cutting corners can lead to sloppy or incomplete work.
The estimate from the contractor should include but is not limited to:
* the scope of the work to be performed
* the cost of any demolition and the disposal of the waste materials
* the quality of the new materials
* a time frame for the work to be completed
* a cost plan for discovery of damage unknown before the start of the project (time and materials)
* contractor insurance declaration
* job site clean-up
*a statement on how long the quoted price is good for. Due to price and regulatory changes, a thirty day time limit is common.
Get everything in writing! Often a verbal "I'll take care of that is soon forgotten. Written agreements protect both parties involved.
This is just a sample list of things to consider as you interview two or three contractors ask them questions. I suggest writing down all of your questions and the answers that you receive. Use your list to interview the next contractor. Talk to your friends who have had similar work done learn from their experience.
The goal of Trinity Property Inspection is to provide our clients with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision concerning their new home purchase. All deficiencies are placed in perspective with a recommended corrective action. It is recommended that homeowners keep their inspection report and use it as a guide for maintaining their home.