Businesses of all sizes entrust a wide variety of essential tasks to contractors. From wiring to plumbing to construction, contractors play a significant role in the continued operation of businesses large and small. Of course, as is the case with any industry, not every contractor you work with is going to be equally obliging. To ensure you wind up with the right person – or people – to meet your business’s unique needs, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider the next time you find yourself in need of a contractor.
Are They Licensed and Insured?
When perusing potential contractors, it’s important that you limit your options to people who are licensed and insured. While working with unlicensed contractors may seem like an effective way to save money, it ultimately stands to cost you a lot more. Since unlicensed contractors aren’t beholden to the same authorities and level of oversight as their licensed counterparts, their quality of work and professional ethics are likely to be well below what you would expect from people in their position. Putting forth the effort to obtain a contractor’s license in their state of operations illustrates someone’s devotion to their craft and is, frankly, the bare minimum that should be expected of any contractor. If someone can’t even be bothered to get licensed, it’s foolhardy to expect them to complete jobs on time and on budget.
Furthermore, any contractor with whom you do business should be fully insured. This helps ensure that any damage caused throughout the course of their work won’t have to be paid for by you. Needless to say, any contractor who lacks licensing and/or insurance shouldn’t be in the running for any projects you have in the pipeline. Before signing on with a new contractor, you are well within your rights to request proof of licensing and insurance? Should the contractor refuse to provide either, it’s advised that you take your business elsewhere.
Will They Provide Free Estimates?
Providing prospective clients with free estimates is among the foremost tenets of a reliable contractor. This indicates that a contractor is confident in their skills and ability to complete jobs in a timely, professional manner. Being charged for an estimate may serve as an indication that a contractor has a propensity for nickel-and-diming clients. Unsurprisingly, most businesses aren’t fond of being presented with new expenses at every turn, so if a contractor refuses to provide a complimentary estimate, this should be taken as a sign that they will charge you for everything they conceivably can if given the job. Additionally, when working out the projected cost of an ambitious project, accurate construction estimate software is sure to come in handy.
Have They Garnered Solid Feedback?
Most contactors – and most people in general, for that matter – won’t hesitate to build themselves up. If you ask any contractor about their approach to customer service or track record of success, odds are they’ll make themselves out to be extremely obliging. Frankly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this. After all, they’re unlikely to land jobs by touting their shortcomings. Still, the best way to get an accurate accounting of someone’s business practices is seeking out feedback from people who have actually worked with them.
With this in mind, look for detailed client feedback for any contractor you’re thinking of hiring. As is the case in any field, some people are able to present themselves as competent and reliable while their actual job performance paints a very different picture. So, before committing to work with a new contractor, you’d do well to peruse feedback from previous clients. Although many contractors’ websites will feature short testimonials from satisfied customers, such glowing reviews may not be representative of the majority of people who have worked with them.
There are myriad reasons for which businesses enlist the aid of professional contractors. Making additions to workspaces, repairing electrical issues and getting to the bottom of plumbing mishaps are just a few of the important tasks businesses regularly leave in the capable hands of contractors. Still, not every experience you have with contractors is going to be equally pleasant. While some contractors will complete jobs in a timely and professional manner, others will present you with new problems every step of the way. So, the next time your business requires the services of a contractor, take care to carefully consider the factors discussed above.
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