25% of problems discovered during inspection, are a result of improper exterior maintenance.
You simply cannot imagine how many times I have heard from a homeowner that hired the cheapest contractor that provided an estimate, only to turn around and have to pay more because the work was not done properly the first time. Often the cheapest estimate is that way for a reason. You may be dealing with an individual that is unlicensed, not certified in the field, doesn’t have insurance and doesn’t offer a warranty for the work. These are all HUGE red flags to the homeowner! Believe me, it is better to pay more for someone that has the proper credentials, has proven experience in the field and uses the proper products to resolve the problem and hold up for years to come. Sure you can check the BBB, look on Angie’s List, review the companies website…but ultimately it comes down to reviews from previous customers. Are they happy with the work that was done? Does the company provide a list of referrals that you can contact prior to signing a contract with them? Below is a list of steps that all homeowners should follow before they hire a contractor to complete work in their home.
1. Choose An Established Contractor – You want to choose a company that has built a reputation for quality work and ethical business practices.
2. Ask For References – A reputable company will be happy to provide references.
3. Find A Company That Can Provide The Specifics You’ll Need – A large project may benefit from a contractor who offers both building and design services.
4. Ensure That A Company Is Licensed & will get the proper permits needed to do the work – A licensed contractor is very important. They should always get the necessary permits needed in your city to perform work on your home.
5. Check Their Industry Memberships And Certifications – Such memberships show that the company adheres to prescribed industry standards, practices, professionalism and skill levels.
6. Verify Insurance Coverage And Drug-Free Workplace – Ask to see contractor’s insurance agent’s information in order to confirm coverage. The company should be insured for property damage, and provide a safe drug-free workplace.
7. Get Everything In Writing, Including Warranties – Details regarding materials, terms, and dates should all be specified in the contract. Do not sign anything until you fully understand and agree to the contract terms. Get written warranties for labor, materials and coverage, as well as warranties from material manufacturers.