Renovating the exterior of your home, or any portion of it including the roof, can be a costly endeavor. While you might be tempted to cut corners, it is never a good idea to skimp on a project of this magnitude. Before deciding on hiring a contractor, there are several questions you should be asking. Don’t choose one solely based on rapport (although that is important) but rather, whether they are well qualified to do the job.
1. Are They Licensed or Registered in Your State?
This can be a bit confusing because some states don’t require contractors to be licensed. Licensing involves passing exams and meeting other criteria while registering only means that they know who is working where and on what types of jobs. Check out this site to see if contractors are required to be licensed in your state.
2. Do Workers Have the Necessary OSHA Training and Certification?
Not only are hazardous materials like asbestos often involved, but some jobs require certification in such things as fall prevention. If OSHA requires contractors who work at heights to be duly trained and certified, ask to see their certification and then check that all safety gear is in compliance. If their gear is from a reputable manufacturer like Protecta, you can rest assured they are doing everything to ensure the safety of their team.
3. What Insurance Coverage Do They Carry?
Here is something else you may want to check in your state. Each state carries its own insurance laws, but as a rule of thumb, general contractors should carry a minimum of liability and workers comp if applicable due to the number of employees on payroll. If they are uninsured, avoid them like the plague or one mishap can cost you or your insurance company a small fortune.
4. Is the Quote Guaranteed?
When contractors bid on jobs, they try to underbid the competition to reel you in. However, that bid isn’t always a final quote and if you don’t ask or read the fine print on the bid, you may be charged thousands more than you had anticipated. If in doubt, have your family attorney go over the contract to ensure your interests are protected.
5. How Long Will It Take to Complete?
How many nightmare stories have you heard about a proposed two-week project stretching out into six months and at a cost many times higher than the quote? After ensuring that the contractor is legally bound to the quote you are given, also make sure that they are bound to complete the project timely unless there is interference such as an act of God like a hurricane.
It is up to you as the homeowner to know what questions to ask a contractor before signing on with them. Ultimately, you are the one who will lose with shoddy workmanship or sub-standard materials. Yes, you can win in a court of law if proven, but at what cost and delay? These questions should help you choose the right contractor for the job, giving you peace of mind and a lovely new exterior to your home.