Four Questions to Ask a Contractor BEFORE They Start Work On Your Home

January 10, 2022 Shelby Barker

We’ve all had a bad experience with a home-repair contractor at one time or another. They often cancel appointments or show up late. Or they don’t clean up after the job is done. Maybe they spring an unexpected charge on you, forcing you to pay more than the estimate. Regardless of the situation, once a contractor has started work, you typically feel obligated to see it through. After all, you don’t want to leave a job half done, right? And this means they have you over the proverbial “barrel”.

There’s an easy way to avoid a lot of the pitfalls of hiring a plumber, electrician, roofer, or just about any other kind of home-repair contractor. And that is to ask them a few simple questions before you hire them.

1. How long have you been in business?

This is an important one. Expertise is gained chiefly through experience. That means that the longer a contractor has been in business, the more likely they are to be better at their job. You need to ask them about the specific task you’re hiring them for; however, just because they started business in 1987 doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been repairing foundations since 1987. Baird Foundation Repair has proudly been repairing our customers’ foundations since 1969–that’s over 50 years of being in the foundation industry!

The other primary benefit of hiring a company that’s been around for a long time is that they have probably earned a good reputation with homeowners. After all, if you’re incompetent or dishonest, it’s unlikely you will be successful in the long run. Here at Baird, we love to hear feedback from our valued customers, and our 500+, 5-star reviews speak for themselves!

2. How many employees do you have?

Company size isn’t always an indicator of competence, but it’s more likely that a contractor that has at least a few job-specific employees is serious about his or her business and can handle repairs of a larger scale. When it comes to repairing a concrete driveway, for instance, you really want someone who has a lot of experience with concrete lifting instead of a jack-of-all-trades who does a little bit of concrete, a little bit of plumbing, etc. More employees also indicate that the company is able to function as a legitimate business and work as a team. This too speaks to the company’s competence and commitment to fixing your home right, the first time. Meet the Baird Team!

3. Are you accredited?

Depending on your state, contractors need to be licensed for them to charge a fee for their services. Beyond that, the most respectable contractors seek accreditation from organizations such as the Better Business Bureau or the local chamber of commerce. This indicates that they’re a legitimate business with satisfied customers. You can also check reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Home Advisor. And don’t just look at overall ratings before hiring a contractor; check individual reviews. A one-star review could indicate an incompetent contractor, but it could also indicate a difficult and unreasonable customer.

4. Do you offer a warranty?

This is a big one. The best home-repair contractors stand behind their work with some sort of guarantee. This should not only assure your satisfaction, but it should also be transferable to any new owners, should you decide to sell your home and depending on the type of work being done. A contractor who offers a written warranty on the work they do is demonstrating they aren’t some sort of fly-by-night operation that will disappear the moment you hand them a check. Be especially wary of contractors who travel from location to location after severe weather events such as hail or flooding. They might offer low prices, but it’s likely they won’t be reachable should something go wrong with their work.

Baird is humbled when customers entrust us to stabilize their home, so we take pride in our work and stand behind it. We guarantee you will receive the best service, products, and clean-up in the market. To give our customers peace of mind, we offer hassle-free warranty options that are transferable and can cover the lifetime of your home.

Above all, use common sense when hiring a contractor. Pay attention to how they speak and act. Do they seem eager to help you? Are they polite? Do they treat you with respect? By asking these questions and paying close attention to a contractor’s attitude, you can go a long way to ensuring that you have a positive experience. And if we all do this consistently, we might just be able to raise the bar for the whole contracting industry. After all, don’t we all deserve better? Contact us today to find out what we are all about!

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