How do you know what Contractors to Trust? So, how do you CHOOSE which company to hire? This is a tough question. There are many factors that one must considered. So we have a problem and we need a Contractor. What are the next steps? Often we jump on Google and we look to see who does this type of work around us. Perhaps we make a post on Facebook asking for recommendations and we get bombarded with Contractor names.
As a consumer myself I often “shop” to see who has the better price. Google Searching, checking Amazon, perhaps Ebay. Prices are all over the place and we don’t know why. Then we look at the reviews. Why do we do this? Well it all boils down to one word. TRUST. Perhaps you have hired a Contractor for a different form of work and we had a horrible experience. The Contractor worked on a project and then at some point you had an issue. You tried and tried to call them back to come fix it but…they will never return your call. Were they too busy? Why WON’T THEY ANSWER!?!?
So we get Bids and what do we do? We immediately zoom our eyes into the “PRICE” and skip over the all the important parts. Why do we do this? Because we are programed to always look at the worst stuff first and to go from there. Hence the “sticker shock”. Then our Trust either rises or falls based on Price. Of course we have $5,000, $8,000, $10,000 but, WHO do we Trust??? We think wow the guy at $10,000 is out of his mind! I just got a price for $5,000! WHO does he think he is??? (Balls up the estimate and tosses it in the trash). $8,000 sounds better but, saving $3k sounds even BETTER.
STOP!!!!!!!!!! But, why? “Proof is in the pudding” okay so you have a lower price and someone with a decent reputation. What could go wrong? Let’s look at this in depth.
- Did you Vet the Contractor?
- “Licensed”: Are the Licensed by the State? Did you look them up to see if they are still Licensed? When does their License expire and what Class license do they hold?
- “Insured”: This is a can of worms. WHAT are the insured for? Liability (in case they burn your house down), Workman’s Compensation (In case they fall of your Roof and get injured so they don’t sue you), Bonded – really only applies to commercial jobs.
- References/Reviews: What references do they have?
- What Processes do they do?
- Professional Certifications: What continuing education do they do?
- Warranties: What type do they offer. What is the difference in the Warranties
- Do they install their Roofs according to Building Code?
Often times Customers miss the “apples to apples” comparison because they are so laser focused on “price”. Sure, a Contractor can sell the same Warranty. They can sell the same Roof System. However, there are always some things missing. Perhaps one Contractor measured the materials and required man power to do the job perfectly. Other Contractors may have missed on the measurements and subsequent to that they miss the labor, materials, and profit. In these cases Contractors try to “change order” the job to compensate for their mistakes. What you thought was going to be $5,000 is now $9,490 (WHAT HAPPENED???)
In Virginia, all Contractors are required to be Licensed (Class A, Class B, Class C) which designates that they have taken a course as required by State Law. This is to insure the safely and well being of Virginia Citizens. Did the Contractor install the Roof according to Building Codes? How would you know if they did or did not? Did you “Trust” them and take them at their word? Often times Contractors are praised for their work (until a problem comes up).
Experience often teaches us lessons that are not soon forgotten. If we get burned we never forget it. We are fast at telling others to STAY AWAY verses YOU SHOULD REALLY USE this Contractor. Why? Because they abused our Trust and it is hard to Trust again. By obtaining knowledge and understanding you can help yourself by having a great experience. No amount of money in the world could equal the value of your Trust!
So why do we “Price Shop” Contractors and not Lawyers & Doctors? After all, each of the named professions are “Licensed” or we just assume that they are? You often see the Lawyers & Doctor’s degrees and certifications posted. Why not the Contractors? We trust “price” over process. Because after all “price” tells me who to trust because someone is trying to “rip me off” if they are super high but, are they?
If you truly take the time, check off all the marks on the checklist. You will find ALOT missing. Your Trust is worth more than any estimate and “price”. Don’t sell yourself or your investment short. Proverbs 4:1 Get Wisdom, Get Understanding.