No one sets out to hire a bad contractor and yet it happens every day, often because the homeowner misplaced their trust. You need a new roof, so you hire a recommended roofing company to replace your shingles and that’s the end of it. Or is it?
Recently one of our clients had an uneasy feeling about the job her roofing contractor had done—so she gave Ally a call and asked us to give her a second opinion.
Our inspectors found that the homeowner’s instincts were correct—none of the shingles were fastened properly. Evidence of a minor leak to the side of the chimney was also discovered, as well as improperly installed flashing. A good rain would have been a disaster.
Before hiring a contractor to do any job around your house, keep the following things in mind:
Price: Always get at least three bids and understand that price reflects quality. The lowest bid is not always the best. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job. A low bid may indicate that a contractor uses sub-par materials or is desperate for work. The more accurate bid is likely somewhere in the middle.
Quality of Product or Service: Price doesn’t matter if the product or service is poor quality. Always ask to see sample’s of the vendor’s previous work and if the contractor has any certifications.
Check References: Require each vendor you use to submit a list of at least three references. If a vendor hesitates, that should raise a red flag. Call the references and ask questions such as:
- How would you rate the quality of their products or services?
- If something were wrong, did they make it right?
- Would you use them again?
Ask follow-up questions if something doesn’t seem quite right. Most people will be honest when probed.
Customer Service: Companies with a reputation for good customer service will take good care of you. Check online reviews as well—people who have poor customer experiences may vent their frustrations online.
Recommendations from others: Word of mouth is always a great way to find a vendor. People will share honest opinions and often have the answer to your need based on a similar experience.
Most importantly, make sure the company you work with is licensed and bonded so you do have some recourse should the repair go wrong.