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Lucky 7 – Seven Tips to Qualify Contractors!

December 8th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lucky 7 – seven tips you can use to qualify contractors BEFORE you invite them into your home or business to do work.  The bottom line is – CHECK THEM OUT.

  • ANGIE’S LIST – already a proven tool that covers a lot more ground these days then just contractors.
  • BBB – the Better Business Bureau has an ever growing data base of information on contractors – you can find out a lot from their web site or a phone call.
  • CITY ENGINEERS OFFICE – a call to the City Engineers Office in the town or county where you live can reveal a lot.  Find out if the trade you are researching requires a state license, and if the specific contractor you are researching is bonded with the city or county they are working in.
  • TRAINING & EDUCATION – Find out how the contractor you are researching got their training.  Did they (and the employees that will be sent out to YOUR job) go thru a certified apprenticeship or trade school?  If not, how did they become “qualified” – make sure you are satisfied with this answer!
  • GET IT IN WRITING – a proper estimate for work should be fully itemized and in writing.  It should be clear what is and what is not going to be done for the dollars you are about to spend.  If you don’t like the way the estimate looks, ask them to submit a new document with a full scope of work or move on.
  • WARRANTY AGREEMENT – make sure you know up front what the guarantee on the workmanship and material is.  Let them know prior to the start of work what your expectations are and ask for a signed / dated copy of the agreement at the completion of work.
  • FULL DISCLOSURE – It’s your money, ask where it is going.  If things seem “off” and you feel like there is a potential issue then require a schedule of values prior to hiring someone for a job.  A schedule of values is a document used to break down and track all the cost in a job, including % mark up of material and profit.  A good contractor should be willing to share this information with you up front.  If it smells like a rat, then it is usually a rat.

So there you have it, follow the Lucky 7 and you will really help narwow the field to those contractors who can and will provide you with the solutions and results you are paying for!

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