With home contractors, reputation is everything. If enough people aren’t pleased with the work a crew does, word will get around and eventually that contractor will be out of work, or worse– in jail. Just like with most businesses, consumers need to be vigilant about whom they employ. In particular, contractors need to be trusted because you, the consumer, let them into your home. Furthermore, you expect them to do the work you want done, and expect them to do it well– to completion without flaws or problems.
Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a Home Contractor
What are some things to keep in mind when hiring a home contractor? Besides the company’s reputation in the community, there are some specifics you can look for, including whether or not the company has a clear vision of what they want to accomplish with their work.
“Vision statements” have been popular in business for a while now. It’d be interesting to ask a potential contractor about their vision statement. If they don’t have one, that could be a red flag. You’re not asking for much– you just want to know that they take their job seriously enough to be able to articulate their vision for the company, both currently and where it’s headed in the future. What’s their position in the market? Are they known for a particular specialty? Do people rave about their roof replacements or home additions? A great question to ask a potential contractor regarding their vision is this: What makes your company stand out from the competition and why should I hire you? If they can give you a sensible, clear answer, then consider working with them; if they cannot, move on.
Next, don’t be afraid to ask a potential contractor about their schooling and training. Do workers get on-going education and training? Things change in the industry over time. Someone who was originally trained in 1965 and hasn’t taken a class since may not be “up” on modern advances. Obviously, you want to know that the workers have experience, expertise and extensive knowledge about their job(s). Imagine hiring an untrained worker to do something as important as installing electric in your house! If your house is your castle, you want to be sure you’re not working with novices.
Communication and Comfort Level is Essential
Communication is key with contractors. There’s nothing worse than hiring a company and then complaining to everybody and anybody who will listen that “they never pick up their phone.” Surprisingly, many contractors aren’t very good at communication. They don’t answer their phone, they don’t answer emails, and they don’t inform their clients about what’s going on! Therefore, when you find a contractor who communicates well face-to-face, over the phone, via email, and/or using paperwork, they’re golden– work with them.
You can tell a lot about a company by the people you interact with, such that you’re more apt to choose a contractor who seems to enjoy their work. You don’t want to hire a company that has no personality and can’t seem to smile no matter what you do– yes, this sounds odd, but you really should seek out contractors that are relatable and don’t have a chip on their shoulder. After all, they and their crew will be in your home, and you’ll have to deal with them on a daily basis for a time, so it’s best if you feel comfortable with them and genuinely like them.
It All Starts at the Top
How’s the leadership of a company? You can judge a company by its leader. Some are duds and some are stars. Seek out the stars who realize it’s not all about them. You want to work with a contractor who sincerely means it when he or she says, “I’ll treat your house like I’d treat my own mother’s house.” Good leaders also delegate well, so even if you don’t always deal with the person whose name is on the company letterhead, get a feel for how other leaders in the company act toward you on the phone or in person. If your gut is telling you “I don’t trust ‘em,” then move on.
You should never feel like you can’t ask questions. Interestingly, some contractors act as if they know everything and talk right over the heads of their clients– or come across as condescending. They’re not winning any points for reputation. However, then there are those who you, the client, feel totally comfortable with, such that you can ask an honest question and get an honest answer. Again, communication is key with contractors.
Some of the questions you might ask a potential contractor include:
“How long have you been in business?”
“Are you licensed and insured and can I see proof?”
“Do you handle all the permits and inspections required for the project?”
“Who would be in charge of my home’s project? You or someone else?”
“Do you use subcontractors?”
“How and when do I have to pay for this?”
“Realistically, when would you start and when would you be done?”
“Are you going to leave me with a mess afterward?”
“Do you offer a warranty on your work?”
If you’re looking for a quality contractor in the Tallahassee area, consider calling Reynolds Home Builders and asking lots of questions. Started by Debbie Reynolds, Reynolds Home Builders likes taking on interesting and challenging home remodeling projects. Debbie is the contact person for clients and she’s readily available to discuss progress, scheduling and changes, among other matters. Call her at 850-508-5076 today.