If you have ever shopped for a contractor of any kind it can be daunting. Where do I find a reputable contractor? How do I make sure that I get what I pay for? How do I know that I am not getting ripped off or taken advantage of? These are all great questions to ask and so I will attempt to walk you through a simple yet effective process of finding the contractor that fits your needs.
- Start with a list. No, not a list of contractors, a list of what you want done. Some times it pays to find a contractor who does more than one specific thing. Other times it may not. For instance you would not ask your plumber if he could build you a deck. However, a fence company may build a deck or vice versa!
- Do some research! A little time searching through google, youtube, or Pinterest etc. can yield a ton of information that you may not have known before. The more you know, the better questions you will be able to ask your potential contractor.
- Ask your network! The people you trust will be your best bet to find a good contractor!
- Google searches can be great to find contractors in your area. Be wary of lead generation services. Read reviews on local contractors.
- Narrow your list down to 3-4 contractors. Before you pick up the phone have a day and time you would be able to meet. Remember, your contractors value their weekends just as much as you so try to schedule during the work day and week if time allows.
- Have a budget in mind prior to asking for a quote! If you are up front with your contractor then much time can be saved. He or she doesn’t want to go through the time of quoting a $35,000 project to you if you only have $10,000 to spend.
- Ask questions. Take notes. If you are interviewing multiple contractors, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Price can vary greatly between contractors so make sure you ask what differentiates their bid from their competitors.
- Negotiate! Do not be afraid to ask for a lower price. Some things are set. Some aren’t. It never hurts to ask!
- Ask for references and insurance. If a contractor cannot produce liability insurance then DO NOT USE THEM.
- Use email as much as possible. Agree to any payment terms via email and if they have a paper contract etc. make sure that you email them and ask for conformation. Many contractors ask for as much as 50% up front. This is common practice and the best way to protect your investment in this case is to use credit card or checks.
I hope this helps. As always we want to add value to our business for our customer’s sake. Check out the rest of the site for more helpful blogs and of course fence prices.