Is this contractor right for you? How do you know if the contracting company you are looking to hire is trustworthy and not just looking to rip you off? Do they even know what they are doing? The following is a list of items that can help you determine if a contractor is right for the job.
Set up a meeting with the contractor in person to discuss your needs. Not only does this allow you to better assess the character of the contractor, but it also allows the contractor to better assess your property and services that you will require. Upon your introduction to the contractor, take notice if they meet the following: English speaking, punctual, professionally courteous, and if they are taking notes when you speak to them about your concerns. These basics of business practice reflect much of what you can in regards to the service you will receive from the contractor. For example, if a contractor is not taking notes when you are speaking to them about your needs and concerns about the property, they may likely not be prepared for a job and charge you more money in the long run for multiple site visits and repairs.
Ask for references
Potential contractors should provide at least 3 references to you who can vouch for the quality of their service. When contacting the references, be sure to ask them to rate the following aspects of service on a scale of (1-10) along with a reason why: Punctuality, Competency/Knowledge, Pricing, Reliability, Emergency Response Time, and their Overall rating.
Ask the contractor if they practice preventative maintenance. Costs can be greatly reduced by using a contractor who will take the time to prevent problems before they occur. This includes lubrication, leakage checks, wiring checks, and testing of major systems in your facility.
Make sure the contractor provides an estimate in writing. This is very important so that no hidden costs or fees are sprung on you in your final bill. Be sure that the estimate clearly defines the work to be completed and includes all aspects of work that you require.
Companies that subcontract more than 5% of their work are going to cost you more money than they will save you. This is very important aspect if you are hiring a company that will mantain your property from top to bottom.
Still having doubts? Get a second opinion!
Many contractors say you need a complete system overhaul when something major happens in your building. The truth is that many times a loose wire or belt could be replaced and could save you tons. The best way to check to see if you are being taken advantage of is to call another contractor for a free job estimate.
BIO: Randy Crocker, Principal Owner of Hassle Free Commercial Services, has over 27 years of experience in the commercial engineering field. HFCS are contractors specializing in industrial building maintenance, fire prevention, and repair on: HVAC, fire alarm systems, plumbing, emergency generators and electrical systems in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.