Whether you have a small home-improvement project planned or you’re moving forward with massive tenant improvements in your new office building, choosing the right contractor for your job is the first step in creating a successful outcome. Everything else hinges on this choice, as your contractor is who chooses others for the project and ensures all components run smoothly.
Ask for Referrals
There used to be a time when we’d pick up the Yellow Pages when we needed a professional, but these days, logging into Facebook is easier — and usually yields better results. Don’t choose your contractor randomly! Talk to friends, family, and colleagues who’ve recently completed construction or renovation projects to see whom they used. Would they recommend those folks? How about other service professionals who work at your home or office? It’s likely that your landscaper, pool cleaner, or janitorial service company knows of a reputable contractor who’s a perfect fit for your project.
If you’re new to the area, you can look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for your region. They offer a list of companies in a variety of areas, along with any complaints they may have received. Just because a company has a complaint doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them, but learn why and how it was resolved before moving forward in the process.
Check with the ROC: Registrar of Contractors
After you’ve gotten a few ideas of companies to vet, and you’ve checked the BBB to be sure they don’t have any big problems, your next step is to log on to the Registrar of Contractors. Much like the BBB, the ROC allows you to look into any complaints filed against your prospective contractor. First, though, you need to make sure they’re licensed. Before any company should be allowed to even bid on your project, they should be licensed, bonded, and insured. Do a quick search to make sure your contractor is listed and that they have no issues against them.
How’s Their Insurance Coverage?
As stated earlier, the contractor you choose should be licensed, insured, and bonded. When you meet with your contractor the first time, ask how much insurance they carry. They should have liability insurance for any damage that occurs on your property and workers’ compensation insurance for any injuries their team may incur while working on your home or office, as well as a pollution liability waiver. As an FYI, general liability insurance is NOT required to obtain an Arizona contractors license, so be sure you take extra care in this arena. Look for at least $2 million in liability insurance before moving forward.
Are They in Any Industry Associations?
Although it’s certainly not a requirement that your contractor be active in the industry, it’s a good question to ask. It can help you learn if they are up-to-date with industry standards, committed to excellence, and know others in the field should the project exceed their scope or they need additional support. A few of the big industry associations include the Associated General Contractors of America, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Association of Minority Contractors, National Association of Small Business Contractors, and National Association of Government Contractors. If you haven’t found a contractor through any other means, this is a good search mechanism as well.
Stay in the Loop
Once you choose a contractor, stay involved in the project as it continues. During the bidding process, the contractor should have provided an estimate on the cost and timeline. While no one enjoys being micromanaged, you should be well informed of the progress as it relates to that initial estimate. Depending on the scope of your project, you can ask to be given updates daily or weekly. During these meeting times, ask if there have been any issues so far or if any are forecast. It’s much better to know and prepare ahead of time than to be slapped with a super-sized bill or a project that runs weeks longer than expected.
Remember that Rocky Mountain Restoration is a licensed contractor and can manage your job from the first sign of disaster until everything is back to normal. We are licensed, bonded, and insured, and we work with a variety of top-notch industry professionals to come in to assist with your project as needed. Don’t go it alone! We’re here to help. Call us at 480-309-2524 to learn more.