Hiring a Contractor to Do a Project on Your Home?

Hiring a ContractorA lot of people have written about hiring a contractor. However, this is being written from the perspective of an insider. That is someone who gets hired. There are many advantages of the insider perspective. Just as an example, there are so many times, when I would lose a bid, and when I would inquire on the bid won, it would be someone whose bid is so low that, I was sure that there is something is wrong. Only to find out a few days later that they want me to come fix the problem created by the person who was hired before. So, how do I know that something is wrong? These are the warning signals I see play out all the time. Here I share how I learnt to see through the appearances to real warning signals.

One small point to keep in mind is, if the project is a big one or a small. The smaller the project, the more flexible the following criteria can be, the bigger the project, the more important the following points are. So for any project over $1000, I would really consider the following points.


First, paperwork; do they give a written bid? A good company will have a paper trail for the work they do. It is just the basics of being organized in business. Do they ask you to sign a contract? Do they give a written warranty? I have seen many times, someone comes by gives a verbal bid and does a crappy job. When things are written down, like a detailed written estimate; it shows the person knows what to do. It also shows what you can exactly expect to be done.


Second, insurance; always ask for the insurance information. Make sure to call the insurance company. There are many types of insurance companies. The most important thing is to make sure is if the insurance covers the subcontractors. Many times the insurance did not cover the damage because the person who was going to actually do the work was not named in the insurance paperwork.  Insurance shows they are serious about the work, and they take their business serious. Most insurances cost less than $300 a month.   Insurance also shows the company is not desperate for money; it has some extra money at hand. A desperate person will say yes to anything. I have seen roofs collapse only to find out there was no insurance. This is very important to check. Your home is your biggest investment.


Third, the crew; a company can exist for a long time, however this may not be true about the crew members. Sometimes a crew brings a company to “fame” by doing a great job. Then when the crew members have a fall out with the company, the jobs are still coming in, a new crew is hired and they do not have the same experience. So, what can you do about that? This is especially true if the crew has to apply some creativity to the project. There are a few ways to see if the crew that will be working has been with them for a while. First, is to simply ask, “How long has this person(s) or crew been working for you?”   Ask to meet the crew that will be working on your project, at another job. This is a actually a great idea, because, at the job site, you will be able to see the materials being used, how efficiently the crew works. See if at least someone in the crew speaks English. That will show that the company is willing to pay its people decent. If no one speaks English, this is a sign that they do not pay the staff well, which will affect the craftsmanship. A crew that does not speak English is also a sign, that miscommunication takes places from time to time. On the day of the Project when the crew arrives; talk to the crew, ask them how long they have been working for company, etc. If something feels wrong based on the information you gathered; you need to think twice. These are just a few points from an insider’s perspective from a Dallas Roofing Company.



Erin Emanuel

One Comment

  1. Hi Erin: I’m sending your article to our dealer. Always in my meetings sales with distributors, we tell them that you must earn the trust of your customer, presenting estimated detailed and well organized. I have seen how they have lost some business for only a verbal agreement with the client.

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