We know that you have a choice, and making the right decision is of the utmost importance. Here are 8 costly mistakes to avoid when choosing a contractor.
1. Choosing Solely on Price
You ultimately get what you pay for. This law of economics has withstood the test of time and continues to live on. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.” Choose carefully, because once you have the finished product you are stuck with it, and it can cost you much more to have it changed or repaired in the future, than if you had it done right the first time. A quality product, properly installed, will increase the value of your property.
2. Hiring Inexperience or Lack of Expertise
Be sure the person or persons installing your product has the experience and expertise to do a job you’ll not only be satisfied with, but be able to live with. Don’t just look at the number of years a company has been in business; find out how much experience they have in their field. You want the company installing your product to know what they’re doing. “The little things do matter; it’s all about the details.”
3. Not Doing Your Homework
Avoid buyer’s remorse…do your due diligence! Be sure the company and product line is reputable; beware of companies who frequently make name changes because of bad business practices, be sure they have happy customers, that they returns calls, etc. Find out where the company is located and check out their offices and showroom, get testimonials, references and sites of products and installation. How well your project turns out often reflects how well their company is run. “Invest the time now, so it doesn’t cost you both time and money later.”
4. Empty Guarantees
What kind of warranties and guarantees are available and what do they really mean? They should be backed by not only the manufacturer, but the company installing it. What actions will be taken if you are dissatisfied with the quality of the install? Is the company willing to give you your money back if poorly installed? Will they even call you back? “If a company does quality work and installs quality products, it should be willing to give you a money-back guarantee if they don’t deliver.” You will generally not have any issues when dealing with a company with integrity and high-quality products properly installed.
Who’s looking out for you? Will your property remain unharmed and clean throughout the building process? Will your neighbors’ property suffer due to negligence on behalf of careless installers? Most utility lines and irrigation lines run along your property line. You want a professional who can handle the many challenges, as well as someone who is looking out for your lawn, flowers, shrubs and trees. “Just being insured isn’t enough; you need insurance from the company.”
6. Hiring a Half Company
Be sure the company does what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it. Your project should be completed within a timely manner once it has begun. “The average period to complete a project is 2 days.” Hire a company with a strong work ethic, not one who drags out projects and needs supervision. Make this an enjoyable experience, not one of stress for your family and your neighbors.
7. Choosing a Product Solely From a Photo
Consider the importance of seeing and feeling the actual product and how it looks and feels installed. “Not all products should be treated equal!” Viewing displays and photos, and receiving answers to questions about your product and estimate should be made an easy part of your decision process.
8. Ignorance of the 3 R’s
“Restrictions, regulations, and requirements.” Knowledge is king and that is the key importance in hiring an expert. Not only do you want a quality product, installed right and on time, but you need to comply with the 3 R’s along the way. You are responsible for knowing these if the company doesn’t. It can cost you a lot if you incur fines or litigation, let alone the cost of fixing the problem.
BONUS! Think Before Doing It Yourself
DIYing your project can be a tempting idea for some homeowners, but before jumping in, give it some thought and ask yourself the following questions: Where will you buy your product? Is it from a chain box store? A lot of product at box stores have attractive pricing but are lacking in quality. Most won’t stand the test of time because they can’t handle the harsh climate of the Midwest. Does warranty matter to you? We warranty all of our install work for a year, something you won’t get by doing it yourself. Our products also come with warranties that are backed by the manufacturer, whereas box store warranties are often forgotten. Do you know how to install it properly? Experience and expertise goes a long way in the longevity of a product. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”