Once you have decided to hire a professional contractor for a particular project, selecting the right person or firm becomes a matter of cost, size of the company, years in business and other criteria. Going online or through other sources and selecting a group of contractors to quote your project is the easy part. However, these sources can only provide you with limited general information. In order to make an educated decision, you need some specific information about any person or firm you are considering hiring. For example:
Verify that your contractor is licensed and insured. Reputable contractors will only be too happy to provide you with copies of their certificates of insurance and licensing.
A reputable contractor will provide you with a written contract. The contract will outline & explain the scope of the work to be performed, areas included for repair, methods & extent of surface preparation, time schedules & payment procedures. These details allow a better comparison of multiple bids. The contract serves to protect both you – the client and the contractor.
Ask for a list of references from the prospective contractor. This list should include the contact person, address & telephone number of the previous client. Remember, the contractor is not likely to give you a bad reference. Therefore, ask references if they know of any other work this contractor has performed. Be sure to ask whether the contractor and employees treated you professionally and with respect. The references you are interested in should be from projects similar in size and scope to yours. These projects should span several years — this will help determine if the work is consistent or improving.
Two parts to this aspect of a project: First, ask about the manufacturer’s warranty on the products to be used on your project — what is the expected life of the applied paint. Remember long-term durability from the coating is the goal; hence, the use of high-quality products is as important as the selection and performance of the contractor. Second, what is the contractor’s warranty on workmanship?