SIX POINTS FOR EVALUATING A CONTRACTOR
While price is an issue when choosing a contractor, you should weigh it carefully against other considerations. A low price from an unqualified contractor may not mean a cost savings, and may in fact cost more in the long run.
So how do you judge whether a contractor is qualified and has a valid price? Remember, just as important as how long a contractor had been in business is how he’s performed work in the past.
These six guidelines will help you select a reputable, informed contractor:
- References. Reputable contractors are happy to provide names of satisfied customers whose job requirements were similar to yours. Call the contractors references and ask them how he performed his work. For additional assurance that the contractor is reputable, contact the Better Business Bureau, trade organizations and/or the contractors suppliers.
- Materials. A contractor trained in the performance of various materials has the knowledge to select those that are the best for your job. Ask for written specifications on materials to be used on your job and why. Use specifications to compare the type and quality of materials you’re getting for your money.
- Compliance. A good contractor must have the required state and local permits, and comply with state regulations and environmental restriction (EPA & OSHA). Section 489.103 (7) Florida Statutes requires that any person working on your building who is not licensed must be employed by you. Typically, when you hire unlicensed contractors, your insurance policy will not honor your claim if the work being performed required a licensed contractor, and you may face fines up to $5,000.00
- Protection. The contractor should be willing to show you a certificate of liability insurance and Workmen’s Compensation for your protection.
- Accountability. After inspecting your job site your contractor should give you a written proposal. This proposal should detail the scope of the project including; area dimensions, material specifications, instillation procedures and the exact amount of money you will pay. A quality contractor is happy to give you a written guarantee of performance.