Hiring a contractor can be intimidating. Letting a stranger into your personal space and making potentially drastic changes to it can feel like a nerve racking endeavor. Before letting a worker into your home to lay down new floor, lay down new carpeting or provide flooring repair services, here are a few things to look for:
Without a contract, a contractor is not a contractor, but simply a worker. A contract keeps both parties accountable for what is needed in order for the service to take place. It is unfair to believe that contracts are only in place to guard against shady workers; many contractors are honest business people, but even honest workers can forget details that are mentioned over the course of multiple planning discussions. With a contract, everything is in writing.
When the contract is being drafted, make sure it includes the scope of the work being done, which should include detailed information on which actions the contractor is responsible for. The more detail, the better. The contract should also list an expected duration of work. This will ease tensions should there ever be a lull in progress during the job. The contract should also list exclusions, which will help temper the expectations on both sides.
Should the need ever arise to track down your contractor after work has begun, it is important to know where to be able to find them. Simply having a phone number will not suffice if that contractor does not pick up the phone. Our contractors are available at our Tampa, Carrollwood, and Brandon, Florida locations.
Doing some basic research to see if your contractor is reputable can save a lot of headaches later on. Finding out if the contractor has received any awards or has any industry associations will help inform a contractor’s reputation, as will reviews, recommendations or referrals from previous clients.
While a contractor license is not required for wood flooring installation in the state of Florida (unless they are altering a load bearing wall), hiring a contractor that is licensed will help put your mind at ease. A contractor license ensures that the contractor is playing by the rules and performing business in an ethical manner.
General liability insurance is essential for most contractors to have. During repairs, your home is considered a construction site, and without insurance, you as the homeowner may be held liable if something goes awry. Check the insurance credentials of your contractor, both for general liability insurance as well as Worker’s Compensation.
Whether payment is required in increments related to percentages of work completion or are tied to accomplishments in the job being performed, knowing when payment will be expected is important for both sides.
A standard warranty for contract work is often one year after completion. Having a contractor’s physical address and contact information will prove helpful in case you end up needing to take advantage of that warranty.