How To Hire A Contractor

As much as I hate to admit it; I made a bad purchase. My goal is to educate homeowners on doing their homework, take the time to do some research, and digging into any company or product that you are considering using. It looks like I was caught trying to save a little money. The money that I saved was not worth it, and I will now have to spend additional money to correct my mistake.

An Expensive Lesson

I needed to purchase two new lateral file cabinets to put job folders for completed projects. When I researched which file cabinets to purchase, I found a file cabinet on Amazon that was $100.00 cheaper than the ones that I currently have in my office. – I tried to save a little money. I currently have a four-drawer Lateral file cabinet made by the Hirsh Company. I keep a lot of files in the Hirsh file cabinet, and there is a lot of weight in the Hirsh Drawers. These cabinets are flawless; drawers operate smoothly, never get hung up, and always shut. The File cabinets that I purchase were NOT made by Hirsh. I was pretty happy when the new file cabinets showed up – I can keep all of the past projects organized – Plus I saved Two hundred bucks. I was in a good mood.

You Get What You Pay For

It did not take me very long before I realized that the cheaper file cabinets were not quite the deal that I thought they were. One drawer fell apart within a few weeks. I didn’t even put the same number of files in the cheaper cabinets as I had in the Hirsh File drawers.  I thought that all file cabinet makers were the same.  As it turns out – the company that made the cheap cabinet cared only about selling quantity – not quality.

Buy It Twice

I am now waiting for my replacement file cabinets that I had to order.  This time I made sure that I selected the Hirsh File cabinets.  This mistake cost me around $ 300.00.  But I do have a plan for the cheap file cabinets that are worthless – they will get tossed into the dumpster. So yes, I had to learn a lesson the hard way – by spending more money. The same principle applies when considering hiring a remodeling contractor. You will get what you pay for.

How To Hire A Contractor

Hiring a contractor can be a little scary.  You are about to invest in your home, and you do not want it to become a nightmare.

Here are a few things to consider when you are in the process of meeting contractors.  These are just a few things that you need to consider on How to Hire a Contractor.

  1. Are they licensed by the state?
  2. Do they have proof of insurance?
  3. Do they give you a detailed estimate of your project’s cost?
  4. Do they pull permits?
  5. Do they provide you with the state-required warranty?
  6. Do they provide you with a contract?
  7. Do they have workman’s compensation insurance?
  8. Do they sub out all of the work?
  9. How much of the work will the employees be doing?
  10. Do they provide you with a calendar for your project?
  11. Do they have at least 50 references from past clients?
  12. Do they have a professional-looking website?
  13. Do they have professional-looking vehicles?
  14. Do they provide you with their lumber yard and suppliers’ information?  – to check if they pay their bills?
  15. How many projects have they completed that are similar to yours?
  16. Did they show up on time for your meeting?
  17. Did they respond quickly when you contacted them about a project?
  18. Are they members of the BBB – what is their rating?
  19. Do they provide you with detailed plans?
  20. What does your Gut feeling tell you about this company?

I am amazed at how many homeowners do not know what to ask me when I am meeting with them on a project.  I have had homeowners that did not hire me – and ended up calling me during the project to help them out.  I had one homeowner that hired another company because they could start their exterior renovation right away. ( I had told them I could not start it for 6 weeks.)  Four months later – this homeowner called me because the contractor that they hired still had not finished the job – and he was way over his head.  This is why I started writing on How to Hire a Contractor.

Time Well Spent

Take time to research the company you are considering hiring.  Do your homework.  Make the calls to past clients.  Check with their suppliers to ensure they pay their bills.  Check with the BBB.  But most important – remember… You get what you pay for.

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