It’s National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) National Roofing Week! As a proud member of the NRCA, our expert team at Venture Construction Group of Florida (VCGFL) is committed to educating you every step of the way. Choosing the right contractor is a pivotal step when considering your next construction or restoration project. It is important to not only feel comfortable with who you choose, but also confident that the company is educated, accredited, and trustworthy. It’s important to know that the company you select will provide you with a variety of options, explain the process, and of course, deliver quality work in a timely and cost-effective manner. With so many options out there, it can be confusing. To help you in this crucial selection process, here are five tips to making your choice the right one.
1. Is the Company Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
Make sure the contractor is properly licensed, insured and is trained to install materials to the manufacturer’s guidelines and state building codes and regulations. General Contractor and Roofing licensing requirements vary from state to state and in some states, licensing is not required. If licensing is required in your state, the company will be listed on your state’s contractor licensing website.
Always check to make sure the contractor is insured and carries workers’ compensation. You are placing a lot of trust in the contractor you hire to do work on your home or business. In the event something should go wrong or not according to plan, this is a quick step that can make a major difference! Ask them to provide you with a copy of their insurance certificates and agent contact details.
2. Does the Company Hold Industry Certifications, Education & Accreditations?
You will want to make sure that the contractor you are considering has the appropriate qualifications, after all, this is your property! Look for contractors who invest the time and resources to ongoing education and obtaining expert certifications. Excellent contractors will have accreditations and certifications related to their fields of expertise. Staying up to date on the latest materials, supplies, techniques, safety guidelines and installation protocols is crucial in the construction and restoration industry to provide quality workmanship.
3. Credibility Matters: Do Your Research
Search the company online and learn more about them. You can find a vast amount of information about a company at the touch of your fingers with a quick Google search.
REVIEW THE COMPANY WEBSITE
- How long has the company been in business? This can help greatly in your selection process as it helps determine overall level of experience, professionalism, customer service, and the financial stability of a business.
- Does the company have testimonials clearly listed on their website? Word-of-mouth is a major factor in your selection process.
- Does the company have accreditations, memberships, education and certifications clearly displayed on their website? The best contractors invest in course work to earn certifications and accreditations to stay on top of the latest protocols, techniques, safety guidelines and industry advancements.
- Does the company website include photos of their work? Photos show quality of workmanship, scope of work, and variety of expertise.
- Does the company have local or national media coverage, awards, or press? This speaks volumes about their credibility, reputation and expertise.
- Are the company office addresses and contact information clearly listed on their website and marketing collateral? This helps establish whether they are truly local.
- Is the company active in your community? i.e. philanthropy, economic development, mentorship programs, board members, charitable partners? This may matter to you in your selection process.
- Are the company services and key differentiators clearly stated on their website? Whether it’s your home or business, make sure the company is the right candidate for your particular job.
DO A GOOGLE SEARCH ON COMPANY NAME
- Conduct a quick Google search on the company name and you will find out even more, whether they have any online ratings, reviews, complaints, awards, project features, media coverage, etc. This is a great way to find out about the company, their reputation, credibility and performance history.
CHECK THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (BBB)
- Is the contractor a member of the BBB? What is their rating? Reviewing a company’s BBB rating is an easy step to review company performance. This is also a great way to see any formal complaints were filed.
4. Obtain 3 Bids
Now you have a better idea of the companies you may be interested in moving forward with. Pick your top three and set up meetings with each of them. The meeting will give you a face-to-face connection with the company and the person who will be managing your project. Depending on whether your project is residential or a large-scale commercial project, it could last anywhere from a few days to a few months. This connection will help establish your communication style with the company throughout the duration of the project. This is also a great time to have the contractor review your project needs, conduct a property inspection, and provide you with a detailed project estimate and timeline. Don’t choose a contractor solely based on price. It’s important to select a contractor based on quality, experience and knowledge. Less does not always mean better. Some contractors submit low prices by using lesser grade materials. Some lowball upfront and later provide numerous change orders that can greatly surpass the original price. Some may do it out of general inexperience in the industry.
5. Check References
You are probably very close to selecting a contractor for your job at this point. Before you make your final selection, check out the company’s references. A quality contractor will gladly provide a list of local references. Obtain information from company clients. Hearing positive feedback from previous clients is a great way to build trust. Don’t forget to review their online reviews and testimonials.
Selecting the right contractor for your project is an important task and should not be taken lightly. With so much information and options, the selection process can seem overwhelming. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to finding the right contractor to achieve your vision!