Finding the right contractor can be stressful.
It’s hard to know who to trust with your home. There’s a multitude of contractors in Colorado Springs. Here are 5 questions that you can ask every contractor that you’re considering to narrow it down.
1. ARE YOU LICENSED AND INSURED?
Real-life story: Leslie hired a friend of a friend to save some money on a small bathroom refresh. The guy ended up getting hurt during the project. It happens. Unfortunately, he was unlicensed and uninsured. So when he filed for workman’s comp, Leslie was responsible for his medical bills and lost wages. Total nightmare.
Not everyone who claims to be a contractor is a licensed contractor. If your contractor is unlicensed and uninsured, you are responsible for their work.
Check and make sure your contractor is licensed and insured. Don’t just take their word for it. Look them up on the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department’s website to be sure: pprbd.org.
Your contractor needs to be able to pull a permit for the work. If you go with the cheapest contractor, you could go to sell your house only to learn that your “contractor” never pulled a permit. That could be a deal breaker for the sale and cost you thousands by having to lower your asking price or tear apart your house just to pass inspection. Not fun.
Also, scammers will sometimes pose as contractors, ask for a deposit and then do a vanishing act. It’s awful, but it does happen. Don’t make a deposit or sign anything until you’ve had a chance to check them out.
Also, scammers will sometimes pose as contractors, ask for a deposit and then do an incredible vanishing act.
What to ask a remodeler, from a remodeler...
2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Our friend Ron had his roof replaced a few years ago and went with the cheapest roofing contractor he could find. They had a warranty so he figured he’d be covered. Last year his roof started leaking. He went to call the roofing company but… boop boop boop …his call could not be completed as dialed. His contractor had gone out of business. Ron had run out of luck.
It’s important that the contractor you choose to work with runs a stable business because there’s a chance you may need them to come back out to patch something up at some point. This is one reason why cheaper isn’t always better. Your contractor needs to have been in business for a minimum of 3 years. HOMEfix was started right here in Colorado Springs in 2007.
Now that you know they’re a legitimate business, make sure they treat people well and do things the right way. Google them. Read some reviews. Know who you’re doing business with.
3. WHAT’S YOUR TIMELINE?
“We can start tomorrow!” If a contractor says they can start tomorrow, that’s a huge red flag. If they’re a reputable and stable company, they’re scheduled out at least a week for the vast majority of the year.
Once they do start, a typical remodel should take between 4-8 weeks depending on the scope. Typically the biggest factor in a project’s timeline is the availability of chosen materials.
Before HOMEfix starts a new project, we create a detailed schedule for you with a hard deadline. If we go over that deadline, you get a percentage off of the cost of the project. We do this because we don’t miss deadlines. You can rest assured that we’ll be out of your house by the date that we say we’ll be out.
4. WHAT KIND OF WARRANTY DO YOU OFFER?
The last thing that you want from a contractor is a fight over the quality of their work. The best indicator of a respectable contractor is their warranty.
A craftsman stands behind their work. Contractors only put a warranty into place if they know that they won’t have an abundance of warranty claims. They’re confident that their work will withstand the test of time.
Most people don’t know that professional contractors have access to higher quality materials through their suppliers. Discount crews will literally just run down to Home Depot for materials.
If you’re investing thousands of dollars into your home, you want quality materials that will last. HOMEfix offers a 5 year warranty on both materials and labor.
5. WILL YOU EAT THE COST OF UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES?
You know that part of your favorite fix-it TV show when Skip or Johanna have to call the customer to ask them to pay thousands more than what they originally quoted them? Sure ya do. You know it well. It’s in every episode, it’s always right before a commercial break, it’s fraught with drama, and it scares a lot of people away from remodeling.
We have good news. That phone call isn’t how remodeling goes in real life. It’s added for dramatic effect to keep you from flipping the channel.
In real life, your contractor should catch all that stuff in the initial estimate and it should be included in that estimate. Not added on during the project.
At HOMEfix, once you sign your final estimate, that price is locked in and won’t change unless you decide you’d like to change the scope of work. That means that if we miss something, we’ll “eat” the cost. We like to say “we eat unforeseen circumstances for breakfast, lunch, and dinner”, because it sounds cool but the truth is just doesn’t happen that often.
Not every contractor eats the cost of unforeseen circumstances. In fact, we’re the only contractor that we know of that does. We do it to give you peace of mind that the cost of your project isn’t an abstract idea, but a firm and final number.
What’s your next project?
Tags: handyman services