Part two of our series on how to choose a contractor:
Q. How frequently does the principal visit job sites to insure work is progressing correctly and promptly and will he be available to meet with you during the course of a project?
Be certain to establish a primary contact within the company as well as a preferred method of communication up front. Let them know how often you expect to be updated on your project’s progress. Good communication is the key to a successful project. Most of my clients prefer e-mail which is a win-win for both parties. All comments, questions and requests are in writing, easy to monitor and can be responded to promptly.
Q. Do you insure that all your employee’s and sub-contractors employees are covered by Workmen’s Compensation Insurance?
Request certificates! Remember, you the homeowner, can be held liable if a worker is hurt and the contractor and/or sub-contractor does not have Workmen’s Comp in place and cannot afford to pay the medical bills and long term disability – if a worker is seriously hurt.
Q. Do you carry General Liability Insurance to cover all your operations? Do you insure all of your sub-contractors keep a General Liability policy equal to yours? Again, request certificates!
These questions can be used primarily to establish if a contractor is in a legal position to perform the work you desire to have done and that they are properly insured in case things go wrong during a project or after the project is completed. You can check the contractor’s record with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) to inquire if any formal complaints have been filed against them. You can also get a peek at their credit history via Dun and Bradstreet report (www.dnb.com). Essentially, does the company pay its bills?
And as we noted last month, always request references from a contractor’s previous clients. Fortunately, we live in a small community and word travels fast. If a customer is happy with a contractors work, they will be more than happy to tell you about their experience. Likewise, if they were UNHAPPY, they will relish telling you ALL about it.
For more information on what to ask when choosing a contractor go to www.adctahoe.com.