When it’s time to hire a contractor, we all want to ensure the person we choose is reputable and trustworthy. So, it’s important to know how to distinguish the good from the bad. Our advice? Do a little research prior to calling for an estimate and then be sure to speak to your contractor face to face. It is always a good idea to know who are dealing with; after all, these folks will be working on your home.
Research Tip: Look for their physical location to make sure their address is correct. Check out the Labor and Industry website to view the contractor’s information and business history: www.lni.wa.gov.
The questions below will help you during your initial conversations with each contractor to gauge if this is someone you want to work with:
- What is your business history?
- Do you hold a valid/current license for our state?
- Do you carry workman’s compensation, property damage and liability insurance?
- Have you ever claimed bankruptcy? Changed your name? If so, how many times and why?
- May I see a recent list of references? Once you have them, don’t be shy. Drive by the addresses provided by the company to see their work. If the homeowner is outside, talk to them about their experience with the company you want to hire.
- May I see an itemized estimate of the proposed scope of work? Always get your project details in writing, and make sure you understand what the project entails.
- What if the project requires more work than initially estimated…how do you handle change orders?
- Does your company clean the project area when completed?
- Will you provide a lien release? A lien release is a document from the contractor’s supplier stating if the contractor you hired doesn’t pay their bill, you are not responsible. Any good contractor will do this as a courtesy for their customers. Don’t accept any excuses on this one!
- What guarantees can you provide?
- Do you provide warranties? If so, what are they? Can you provide them in writing?
- Who will oversee my roofing project?
- Does your company provide an on-site supervisor? If so, who is the supervisor?
- Will someone other than that supervisor inspect the progress daily?
- Is a permit needed for my project? All necessary permits should be obtained by the roofing contractor and signed off by the roofing contractor.
- If I sign with you, what are your communication policies prior to the project beginning?
- How will I be notified on the start date for my project?
- What is you daily routine?
- How will you protect my home?
- Does your written contract include a statement detailing items your contractor isn’t responsible for, such as windows, siding, doors, plants, or trees?
- What is the payment plan? How much do you need upfront? What are the payment terms once the project is complete?
- Do you conduct a final inspection with homeowners?
With this information in hand, you are well on your way to determining which contractor will meet the needs of your project. A good contractor will always be willing to take the time to answer any of your questions.
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Larry Haight has been proudly providing Redmond and the Seattle area with Roof Repair and Gutter Repair areas since 1985. Let our crew of professions help you learn when to repair your roof, when to replace it, and walk you through the process to get your project completed.