Have you ever woken up to water in your basement? Or have you finally decided that it’s time to tackle that big house project? For some people hiring a contractor, whether it be a Plumber, Electrician or General Contractor is the first thing that comes to mind. But before doing so there are quite a few things that you may want to do first. Even in an emergency situation.
1. Have a Plan
Know exactly what it is that you are hoping to have done. The more detailed your plan is the better, this way there are no miscommunications. There are many free resources available today that a homeowner can use to share photos and ideas with their contractor.
2. Find the Right Contractor
Now that you have your plan, it’s time to find the right contractor for the job. The days of Google searches seem to be coming to an end and word of mouth referrals are taking over. Majority of customers seek out contractors by asking family and friends for referrals or asking for recommendations via social platforms. There is a sense of trust that comes along with a personal referral that puts a homeowner at ease. Even with a referral you should still do your homework before you sign on the dotted line.
3. Ask Questions!
When choosing a contractor you can and should ask questions. Here is a list of some of the top questions you should ask your contractor before hiring them for the job.
- Are they licensed in the trade you are hiring them for? (example: plumbers need a plumbing license for permitting.)
- Do they have Insurance? Ask for proof!
- Whether or not they came recommended always ask for references and actually do the work and call those references.
- What is their timeline?
- Be sure that if the project requires permitting that a proper permit is pulled. You can call your local village to ask the specifics on this as each village has it’s own set of rules.
- If the job does require permits be sure the contractor is passing all required inspections.
- Ask about payments, how and when they are due.
- For larger jobs, NEVER pay in full and always ask for a receipt or proof of payment/purchase. A lot of contractors do require a deposit for larger jobs and this is mostly to cover the cost of material. Most smaller jobs such as a ceiling fan install or a clogged toilet will require the homeowner to pay in full at the time of service.
4. Shop around – but don’t always pay “less.”
We have been in the industry for over 40 years and one thing that we are always blown away by is the different quotes homeowners receive for certain jobs and projects. You will typically pay less for a “handyman” to complete a job whereas you will pay more or “industry standard” pricing for trades that are licensed, insured and bonded. In our experience it is almost never cheaper (in the end) to go with someone who isn’t licensed, insured and bonded. For most jobs to be permitted the contractor is required to have these certifications and when a job is not permitted no inspections have been completed to make sure the job was done properly and to safety and village code. This is one case where the old saying, “You get what you pay for would usually apply.” So absolutely shop for different quotes but do not let the number be your deciding factor.
5. Communication is Key
Upon hiring a contractor, no matter the trade, you should be given their contact information which usually includes a phone number and email address. Whether the job is a sink rodding or a full house remodel your contractor wants to hear from you. They want to know if their work was satisfactory and have met all of your expectations.
At Allegiance Service Group we understand that not every call to us is a planned expense and that home repair emergencies do happen. Even in these moments it is still a good idea to do your research before hiring your next contractor. Ask the right questions, shop around and through it all enjoy the process.
Have a Plumbing, Electrical or Construction need? Allegiance Service Group, Inc. would love to discuss your next project. Call us Today!