Everybody wants a beautiful and well maintained home, and we’re not afraid to put in a little hard work to do it. Most of the time this means nothing more than cleaning regularly, deep cleaning every a little less regularly and tightening the odd screw or retouching bathroom sealant here and there. However, there comes a point when a job is a little too much for our skills and tools. When we realize that we’re going to have to enlist the aid of a contractor, it’s all too easy for our thoughts to turn to cowboy builders from Hell who’ll capitalize on your lack of insider knowledge to either charge you a fortune for work you don’t need or take your money, liquidize their company and disappear into thin air.
In the digital age, however, we’re far more insulated from this risk. While there are still dodgy contractors out there, you have far more opportunities to ensure that they never come anywhere near your home. The internet gives us a plethora of opportunities to separate the good from the bad if we know where to look. While a face to face consultation is the acid test to determine if a contractor is a good fit for you and your home, there are a number of ways in which you can ascertain the legitimacy of a contractor before you even reach this crucial stage…
Knowing what to look for on their website
Every contractor has an impressive looking website, but knowing what to look for on said websites can enable us to separate the pros from the posers. A worthy contractor’s website will contain the following;
- Case studies- That show how the contractor solved problems similar to yours.
- Customer testimonials- From legit customers (look them up on social media to check this)
- Galleries- Demonstrating the quality of their work.
- Invitation to get a quote- Like James Hardie Siding Contractor, your intended contractor should offer a free quote. This should also be zero obligation and zero pressure.
Check for complaints
Many businesses will receive complaints but while a complaint may not necessarily denote a bad contractor, how they deal with complaints can be extremely telling. Some respond decisively and sincerely to turn their customer’s frowns upside down. Others simply run away from the problem. Thus, you should search under the company name but also under the individual contractor’s name if they’re not the same. Watch out for rogue traders who will reinvent their businesses every time they run from a string of irate customers.
Check the Better Business Bureau, your local Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Consumer affairs as well as the typical review platforms like Trustpilot. All of this can be done from the comfort of your own home well before you invite the contractor to give you a quote.
Check that they’re licensed and insured
Finally, you should check that your contractor is licensed and insured to ply their trade in your state. If they are, this not only guarantees that they are legitimately skilled and capable, it also means that you are insulated from risk if something goes wrong on the project. If your contractor is not licensed this carries a heavy risk and will leave you legally vulnerable if something goes wrong with the job.