Choosing a contractor to complete the roof and siding work for my home became a daunting task. The shipyards were filled with announcements from a multitude of contractors, some local, others coming from far away, looking to cash in on the events of the storms.
Finally, I started hearing horror stories about home repair scams. Neighbors whose roofs were replaced by an out-of-state contractor found themselves standing in pools of water on the floor of their living room thanks to poor roofing. Others were trying to figure out how to pay for repairs after handing over insurance payments to contractors who asked for cash up front but never returned.
After all said and done, I found some reputable siding contractors to get the job done at a fair price. Repairs were completed on time, within my budget, and with a warranty. Regardless of whether you need a contractor to deal with storm damage or you need help with room remodeling, there are several tips you can follow to find a reputable company.
Tips for selecting and working with contractors
Choosing a local contractor means that the company has a permanent place of business in its hometown. It also means you have a business license, a phone number, and local references that you can verify. Most importantly, it means that someone will be around if there is a problem with the work done.
Ask your insurance company for recommendations
If you are not sure which contractor to choose, check with your insurance company. You can do this even if you are not paying for the job. Most insurance companies have agreements with reputable local contractors. Not only can you take advantage of the review process that your insurance company has performed on these companies, but you can even get a discount based on the relationship between the contractor and your insurance company.
Verification of credentials
Ask for a list of references and be sure to contact them. Any reputable contractor knows that the best way to generate new business is to let their past work and customer satisfaction speak for them.
Also, ask your family, friends and neighbors who they have used in the past, and if there were any problems. If they had problems, find out if they were amicably resolved. Also, check reviews online. Use customer review sites if possible. You can also check the websites of local television stations and newspapers for consumer advocacy reports.
Check the contractor’s license and insurance
After creating a list of contractors, narrow down your list by calling and asking the contractors for their license numbers and insurance certificates. All contractors, regardless of the state in which they operate, must have a business license and insurance coverage. Having a business license number will allow you to contact your local municipality and determine if the contractor is legally in business, while the certificate of insurance will ensure that the contractor is covered in case something goes wrong.
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