No matter how well-built they are, your buildings will need some maintenance, repairs and sometimes some upgrades or renovations. Choosing the right people to take on these important tasks can be daunting, but it is necessary to ensure that the work you need gets done in the right way. By carefully vetting the people who work on your structures, you can keep residents, employees and other stakeholders safe while protecting your investment.
- Get recommendations.
Before you begin interviewing contractors, talk to people who have had similar work done. Find out who gave them a good experience and who they would recommend that you avoid. Knowing about how a contractor has performed in the past can give you an idea what to expect in the future.
- Ask for references.
If you do not have referrals from friends, you can still get information from people who have had work done by the contractor you have in mind. Ask for several references and follow up. Your contractor should be able to provide three to five past customers who can vouch for their expertise.
- Check to make sure that they are licensed and insured.
The construction business is rife with fraud and unlicensed fly-by-night companies. Luckily, it is easy to find out who is on the up and up. Ask each contractor for proof that they hold the relevant licenses and insurance for the work that you need. You can also look up each company by name and address to make sure that there are records of these credentials.
- Pick one with an office you can visit.
A contractor who does not give you a physical address is waving a huge red flag. What happens if they do not do a satisfactory job or if they quit halfway through the work? A physical address where you can find them if things go wrong is a must. While it may be cheaper to use a contractor who works out of a virtual office and a fleet of trucks, you need to be able to find them after the fact if needed.
- Check for complaints online.
Google any contractor to find out what others have had to say. You may find information through the Better Business Bureau, or through online review sites. Be sure to read bad reviews thoroughly, and don’t dismiss a contractor who has one or two out of hand. The details you find may show that you are working with a good contractor who just had a bad client.
Doing some legwork now will save you headaches later on. While the process of finding reliable and trustworthy workers can be time consuming and frustrating, the problems you avoid can be more than worth it.