critical success factor in any construction project is the contractor.
A qualified and experienced contractor knows what results are
required for owner satisfaction, as well as what will lead to
dissatisfaction down the road. Selecting the right contractor,
however, can be quite confusing for most people. The following
recommendations from the Certified Contractors NetWork (CCN)
and several roofing manufactures, are provided to educate you,
The Time Will Save Money
yourself a minimum of 1 hour to sit down with each contractor.
Both of you need to explore the problems, products, and prices.
You will be surprised at how many options and questions can be discussed
with a professional contractor.
only 1 hour of time getting to know and qualifying the
contractor prior to awarding your project can save endless hours
of time dealing with dissatisfaction.
dissatisfaction involves an owner who did not fully understand
products selected or scope of work. A professional contractor
will take pride in his work and will have no problem discussing
your options, his previous experience, and his list of satisfied
What To Ask
sure to ask these seven key questions!
What is the full name and address of the company?
Does the company carry Liability and Workman's Compensation insurance
and is the coverage adequate?
Is the company a licensed contractor? Is the contractor a member
of a trade association and in good standing?
How long has the contractor been in business?
What is the contractor's track record for handling complaints?
What is the company's workmanship warrantee?
Specific questions for specific projects.
provided by CCN
|Find out if the contractor is a member of a professional association
- such as the National
Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National
Association for Home Builders (NAHB) - that has standards or
a code of ethics for members.
. Check with your local housing authority (state, county or city)
to see if the contractor is required to meet certain licensing or
bonding criteria in your area and then make sure that he is in compliance.
. Request a copy of the contractor's certificate of insurance for
workers' compensation, property damage and personal liability in
case of accidents, and call the carrier to verify the information.
contractors are honest professionals. However, as in any buying
situation, it's your job to be on the lookout for the unscrupulous
few. Here's what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) warns are some of the danger signs of fraud*:
. Fantastic promises or wild deals
. High-pressure sales tactics or threats to push you into signing
up on the spot
. Attempts to scare you into signing for "urgent" repairs
. Offers to consolidate your existing loans through a home improvement
. Trial purchases, or guarantees of significant discounts, if you
allow your home to be used as a "demo"
. Offers of a "bargain" price using "leftover materials"
from a contractor who makes unsolicited phone calls or visits to
*Fixing Up Your Home and How to Finance
It, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1995.