Remodeling or renovating your home can be expensive, but do you know what costs even more? Choosing the wrong company to do the work, and then having to fix the mess left behind.
No matter the project, if you’re hiring someone to work on your home, there are questions and information that you should ask every contractor before you hire them.
Are they licensed? Nothing against your neighbor’s cousin’s husband – but what if something breaks, or what if things aren’t completed to code? Licensed contractors are pricier because they’ve completed the education, training, and hours on the job. In other words, they know their stuff, and they stand behind the work they do.
Do they pull permits? I’ve learned more about permits than I ever thought I would. Permits are documents filed with the city or town that you live in, which state requirements that must be followed when any work is done. Then, once the work is completed, they send out a town inspector to make sure things were done correctly. Consider it another level of security for your home and mind. Side note: contractors must be licensed to even submit for a permit, which is just another assurance that you’re making the right decisions for your home.
Do they have their own insurance? Accidents happen; that’s why they are called accidents. So, if something does happen to your home where the fault lies with the technician, it’s covered.
What warranties are included? If you purchased something online to install yourself, did it come with a warranty? Will it save you money to do the work yourself? In the beginning, probably. but in the long run, I wouldn’t bet on it. When you choose a contractor backed by a manufacturer, you’ve chosen technicians who not only had specialized training on those systems, but who are also aligned with a manufacturer that offers 5-12 years of parts warranty. In addition, most contractors offer labor warranty on top of the parts warranty, meaning that they take ownership of the work they do.
Look at their reviews. Weird fact: I research everything, even shampoo. Judge away, but I’ve never regretted what I ended up with. So, checking out Google to see what people think of the person I’m thinking of hiring to do my HVAC system is a no-brainer. Truly, the best way to find out about a contractor is word-of-mouth.
Ask to see systems in person. Our System Designers Aaron and Ray often meet clients at the Lawrence office so they can see units in-person. See if your contractor has a showroom or pictures of previous work; this will help you get a more accurate picture of what will be installed in your home.
Are estimates free? Can you believe that some people charge to visit and discuss the changes you want to make in your home? That’s like charging for a test drive. You want a company with a consultant who’s ready to help, answers every question you have, and even gives you answers to ones you forgot to ask, free of charge.
Having someone come into your home is a big deal, and you deserve to work with a company you feel 100% comfortable with. You wouldn’t marry someone without asking important questions; you date them first. So go ahead, ask a contractor on a date and see how they fit. Who knows, you might just find your contractor for life!