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A couple of months ago when we decided to renovate our kitchen, we were eager to install granite countertops. Only, it was a pretty bad experience checking out contractors. Our largest issue was determining which one had the right type of expertise we could trust.
This is my story from soup-to-nuts...
My brother-in-law gave us the name of an outfit he and is wife heard have been pretty trustworthy. Then someone I work with knew a man who lived down the street from him that had done some work in his neighborhood. Actually, we had no clue which ones were good and which ones were too inexperienced to even consider being on our rennovation.I'm here to tell you if you have been spared the process consider yourself blessed (it can be stressful).
So we chose our favorite ones (who we kinda trusted) but wanted to do one additional round of small interviews. It was pretty awesome what did--we came up with 2 questions to see how each of them would answer. Sure it was a bit sneaky having them drive all the way out to my house again but you know what? It's our money so too bad:-).
Our first question we asked was regarding surprises--how do they manage with them if our contract doesn't mention anything about the issue? I read someplace (think it was on google that this is the one part of any reconstruction where you and your family can often shell out money big if you don't chat about it before signing. Two of the guys somewhat dismissed the topic. One even said it hardly ever happens. Ya, right buddy!
So then we asked our next question that we felt was dreadfully crucial to us based on what my lawyer suggested. Tell us about a customer project that did not go off well and how did you resolve the issues? Once more, look for an answer that conveys honesty and details about what occurred and how they handled the issue. Too many homeowners hope and pray that not anything will come up but in fact knowing early is shrewd how unforeseen things will be dealt with.
Beware: a person that doesn't have a full plan how extra work needs to be done is almost certainly going to be too inexperienced to do your project. Smart ones review the job more fully and can more often than not point out potentials that are going to come into play.
Another thing to think over is whether or not they are local yocals or a nationally linked contractor. What is the difference? A lot. Local guys have your home close by. No surprise there. Nevertheless they also work in the community, have plenty of work and that can mean one thing: trust.
Companies affiliated with nationals (like Sears, Home Depot, Lowe's) can often be respectable. But they can't always possess the height of experience as the guys they hire need that association to get work. Stand alone organizations with an headquarters, long-term recommendations and frank customer service concern are commonly going to provide you a whole lot more bang for your buck.
Asking these two questions are so important as it demonstrates their commitment to service long-term.
No matter who you're looking to hire, just do a first-rate job learning more about them.
Here's how we sorted out the madness:
Looked at their websites.
Looked for photos of their current projects on their site.
Only accepted references less than 3 months old.
Clearly told them we wanted their cell phone numbers besides the office.
Also, there's something that is vital when making your last choice Try to consider the type of people that work for them. What I mean is there are 2 styles of workers: the trained ones that have been doing this kind of work for a long time and then there's the guys who just drift all-around from job to job. Think about it--you can hire anyone to do the work but you can't control if they're good sincere people you don't mind having your young children around.
Take your time who you invite into your home. Rushing will definitely cause picking the bad contractor. I know it gets outlandish choosing the best one. I was on the fence for months thinking about my last 2 prospects. But in the end if you do the best research you will make the greatest selection for you and your family.