- Experience – Simply put, this is the length of time the contractor has been in business. Not only is a company’s lifespan an indicator of the amount of time it had taken to grow, but it also shows how many trade secrets the company has. According to studies, companies who have been around for more than 10 years have greater success.
- Environmental Restrictions – You’ll know if your contractor knows their job if they ask about your house’s location and the potential problems that may arise during the construction. This means that there will be fewer surprises along the way because the contractor has already prepared for them.
- Permits – Good companies are knowledgeable of the various bylaws that govern construction. This can potentially save you a lot of money that could be wasted on tear-down costs and delays.
- Insurance – Some people may seem to be saving a little money when they hire a contractor that operates without insurance, and some don’t even know how to find out! A quick check will allow you to see if the company you’re eying is insured. Better companies tell you outright!
- Client Coverage – It’s standard for many companies to include their clients in their insurance policies. This way, you are secure in the quality of their work
Keep in mind the five factors detailed above and start calling your top choices. The agent who receives your call is a reflection of how good the company is. If you ask questions based on the factors indicated above, getting quick and clear answers indicates competence. Be wary of agents who beat around the bush and those who clearly can’t give you the information you need. Ask them for references and take the time to call those up too.
The best way to know if a company is worth your time and money is to ask other people who have availed of their services. Most companies can supply you with a short list of previous clients and you can politely ask them about the company’s service. The fact that a company would provide you with some of their previous clients is in itself an indication of their confidence in the quality of their work.
The last step is to actually have an agent come over and inspect your home. During this step, good companies would actually give you a firm quotation, and it isn’t out of line for you to ask for it to be put down in writing. This step can be a bit tedious but it is nonetheless necessary. It also allows you more chances to get a feel of the company’s competence through their agent.