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"The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten. "

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The ten reasons I would hire a contractor

Much information is shared across the internet. Personal privacy is under attack. So would you knowingly allow a criminal into your home? One way to protect yourself is to hire a licensed contractor. If the person who comes to your home is licensed then you are protected. Part of the process for getting that license is that they are required to get a bond and more recently a background check, fingerprinting et.

Isn't who you let in your home a matter for concern? Employers don't always perform background checks on their employees, so ask the contractor you hire if they do.

Here we go, the ten reasons I would hire a contractor:

1.) You know who your dealing with. When you hire a contractor and they come to your home you have recourse.

2.) They can get a permit for the work done if you request it. This protects you and them. Say the job they do in your eyes is of poor quality, you can get it inspected and if it doesn't meet the minimum code they will have to bring it up to code. This doesn't cover preexisting conditions or other work that may need to be done, only the work they did.

3.) They have met some sort of State mandated testing in both the trade they work in and in legal matters concerning their conduct and have proved competent in those areas. If they had a qualifying partner then that person was responsible for the company actions for several years.

4.) They understand the why of how their trade is performed. A competent professional should be able to answer questions related to their trade. If they can't answer in plain verifiable english maybe you should consider looking elsewhere.

5.) Liability Insurance. Now this doesn't mean they have to have it, it means that they can get it. Remember, its your investment, protect it. Make sure the licensed contractor you hire has CURRENT and VALID liability insurance. For certain jobs you may even ask about an additionally insured certificate. You may have to pay a fee but, if the job is big enough, its well worth it.

6.) Their name is on the line if you are not satisfied. The world is a smaller place. With the internet we will soon see community ratings that are quickly and easily accessible on companies. Bad contractors fear this, quality contractors have been waiting for it for a long time. Some already use this. Many of the "rating" companies charge a fee to be listed so don't believe everything you read. Do your homework, ask for referrals from friends and for references from the contractor.

7.) Some things you just don't want to do yourself. This shouldn't mean that you should hire someone who needs to pay rent and is clueless about the trade you need them to perform. Most of what contractors charge is for your protection. There is a lot more to contracting than talking the talk.

8.) Warranty work. Ever try to find that person from the home center when something goes wrong? Contractors who use quality products and install them to manufacturers recommendations will be there for you should anything happen. Ask what hours your contractor will come to perform warranty work should anything go wrong.

9.) Product knowledge. A person worth their salt knows how to guide you comfortably to what you need and protect you, if necessary, from what you think you want. Rarely has what someone wanted been exactly what they needed. It does happen, but those people are the exception and have done their homework thoroughly. Informing a client is a tricky business. If you tell them what they need they head down to the home center and pick up the unlicensed person and buy your recommended product have them install it and ask you to come back and "fix" it.

10.) Contractors are people who care. We get a contracting license, business license, conform to trade standards, government standards, have to follow codes, plans, blueprints, train, retrain, read, train again, teach, educate, multitask, overcome obstacles, overcome objections, meet deadlines, find parts and more while still trying to maintain a great relationship with you, our greatest asset, our customer.

Now these may not be the reasons you would hire a contractor. They sure are the reasons I do.

your plumber,


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