Before You Hire a Contractor, Read These Helpful Tips
We have all been here; you hire a contractor who assures you they can do the job, but the results speak differently. You try to resolve outstanding issues, and they ignore your calls. This scenario shouldn't happen, but unfortunately, it does.
Let’s Start with the Definition of Professional.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines professional as:
· A person who has a job that requires skill, education, or training.
· Someone who has worked hard in the same type of job for a long time and has become skilled at dealing with any problem that might happen.
It Seems Like Every Company States They Are A Professional Company. How Do I Determine If They Are Qualified?
To avoid dissatisfaction and build a good relationship with a contractor, we have compiled a list of questions and tips that tend to get overlooked when trying to hire a professional contractor:
1. Employees and Training
· Does the company provide ongoing training to its employees?
· Do you have safety training and protocols in place?
· How long have the employees been at the company?
2. Proof of Insurance
· If asked, a legitimate contractor can provide a valid Certificate of Insurance (COI). For your convenience, many contractors post it on their websites, for example, Power Wash Charlotte COI 2022.
3. Commercial versus DIY Equipment
· We speak from experience in the power washing business, but this statement covers all types of contracted work; commercial-grade equipment provides you with better results, lower labor costs, and ultimately will save you money.
4. Qualifications and References
· Depending on the job scope, a qualified contractor should be able to provide you with references for projects like yours.
· Keep in mind some qualified contractors will not have references specific to your job yet. They have the skill, training, and equipment, to deliver excellent results but need on-the-job experience. In this case, the contractor should be upfront with you regarding their experience, which shows integrity, and never underestimate integrity in a relationship.
5. The Power of Word of Mouth
· There is no better advertising than word-of-mouth. Whether it comes from a business acquaintance, a neighbor, a friend, or a family member, a recommendation speaks volumes.
6. Google Reviews
· It doesn’t matter if you love or hate Google, there are a few things you can’t overlook:
1. Google enjoys over 90% of search results. That is because their mission is and has always been to deliver the best information based on your search inquiry.
2. A company cannot solicit or pay 3rd parties for a Google review. Does it happen? Yes. But eventually, Google can/will blacklist that company from their search results. The bottom line is that type of behavior is cheating and displays dishonesty. A red 🚩 is when a company has hundreds of reviews, and every review is 5 stars. No one is perfect!
3. Google does not allow companies to hide or remove negative reviews. The best advice when reading reviews is to use common sense. If the contractor has an overall rating of 4.8, but has a few negative reviews, approach the negative reviews with caution. There will always be customers who are not satisfied. The important thing to look for is how the contractor did or didn't 🚩 responded.
· Another red 🚩 might be when the last customer review was posted over 3 months ago. As we are all aware, a lot can change in a few months, including new management, employee turnover, the economy, etc. The best advice is to ask questions.
7. Requesting and Reviewing Estimates
· There is an adage when procuring estimates; get three estimates, throw out the highest and the lowest, and go with the guy in the middle. Sometimes that might work, but unfortunately, it might not be the best methodology. Consider these options:
· If there is a budget you need to meet, be upfront with the contractor. Like any relationship, good communication builds trust, and trust builds loyalty.
· Set expectations and communicate desired results. If you’re working with a professional contractor, they will either commit to delivering on your expectations or be honest and explain why your expectations are not achievable.
8. When it Comes to Websites, Don't Believe Everything You See!
· There is no denying that the internet is the single-greatest invention most of us will realize in our lifetime. It ranks in importance with the wheel, electricity, and penicillin. It forever changed how we work, learn, and communicate.
· But like any life-transforming invention comes personal responsibility. Do not fall victim to scam companies or companies that do not protect your personal information. A legitimate company will have a secure website. Here is an example of how to identify an unsecured website in your web browser bar:
We hope these tips help in your decision process. If you have any questions or comments, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to assist you.
The Power Wash Charlotte Team