Having a reputable contractor is essential for completing any remodelling or construction work in a timely, cost-efficient and satisfactory manner—from explaining procedures and predicting schedules to calculating costs. Without someone dependable, you risk trusting an unscrupulous contractor with the worksite, a situation that can easily lend itself to manipulation and exploitation.
Here are 9 tips to help you choose a reputable and suitable contractor for your next project:
When choosing a contractor, consider your choices carefully and vet each potential candidate. Selecting a reliable contractor can greatly reduce the possibility of serious accidents and costly delays.
Follow these tips to ensure you choose a reputable, honest and trustworthy contractor:
1. Solicit recommendations from friends, family, neighbours and relevant trade associations.
2. Confirm that candidates are members of the appropriate trade associations (or properly licensed if required).
3. Pick established contractors with premises you can visit. Ask them how long they have been in business. Collect the address and contact details of your candidates—not just their phone numbers. Dishonest contractors can easily change their phone numbers, leaving you with no way to contact them.
4. Interview your candidates. Ask whether they have completed work similar to your project. If possible, view their past projects.
5. Interview your candidates’ past customers. Ask whether they were happy with the work, whether it was started and completed on time, and whether the final bill was within the estimate.
6. Obtain at least three estimates in writing for your project. Make sure these estimates include such criteria as the quality of fixtures and fixings. Failing to specify the level of quality you expect may lead to an unwelcome and costly surprise.
7. Compare and contrast your different estimates. Do not assume that the cheapest is the best; paying more may be necessary in order to ensure the level of quality you expect.
8. Confirm payment arrangements before the work commences. Be wary of upfront payments and never pay in cash—pay with cheque or credit so you have a paper record of the transaction. Paying by credit card also gives you extra protection for seeking compensation if the work is unsatisfactory.9. Define your expectations for your project and the contractor from the outset and do not waver—changing your mind too much can be expensive.
Find out more:
Assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business. Download our “Risk Insights: Choosing a Reputable Contractor” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management: