Would you like your project to run smoothly from beginning to end and be charmed when it’s finished? First you must choose the right contractor. Try these five tips:
Tip #1: Start Early!
Starting early will allow you plenty of time to get more than one estimate for your project and give your contractors time to fit you in the schedule. It’s also a good idea to start collecting recommendations for services you don’t need right away but want to have some companies you are familiar with when emergencies come up.
Tip # 2: Get to Know The Important Folks!
We suggest getting to know companies who can do large repairs on your home that are vital to your home’s overall “health”. Our top three contractors to have in your back pocket are roofers, HVAC companies, and plumbers.
Tip # 3: Personal Recommendations are Best!
Seek a personal recommendation from someone you trust who has used the company they are recommending to you. This is the best recommendation to receive because this trusted friend would have an opportunity to see how technicians or owners work from beginning to end.
Tip # 4: Resources Resources Resources!
Use your local Chamber of Commerce to help you find good contractors. Most of us think of Chambers as a resource for businesses, but they can be a great resource for homeowners as well. Often your local chamber will have community events that are open to the public. You can also set up a time to talk to the chamber staff. They desire to help everyone in their community, not just businesses. Businesses who join the Chamber in the city or cities they serve are more likely to be invested in those communities, and more likely to be solid companies who do great work.
Tip # 5: Ask for Clear Estimates
When your contractor comes out to your house to give an estimate, be very clear about the work you want done. Misunderstandings are like bad hair days or speeding tickets; they emerge when you least expect them. Most misunderstandings happen because of a breakdown in communication. To avoid this breakdown, at a minimum insist on two documents from the companies you might like to work with:
- A detailed estimate that you are able to understand
- Proof of a general liability policy and workman’s comp if applicable (Don’t feel sheepish about asking for proof of insurance. A good contractor or company will not hesitate to provide this for you.)
Ask all the questions you need to until you feel confident that you and your contractor are on the same page about your project.
Once you’ve chosen the right contractor, elevate your experience with these tips:
Tip # 1: COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
As much as you are able, communicate with your contractor using the method she has used to communicate with you. Texting is more and more popular with contractors; they feel it saves them time. If your contractor has emailed, and you have a question, email her. Also, be patient for that response. You don’t have to be taken advantage of by begging for a response, but you don’t always need an immediate response either. If you are patient, you will stand out as a customer and she will take notice.
Tip # 2: BUILD RAPPORT
It’s important to build up the rapport bank account, and make deposits often, especially if your project is a long one. When you need to make a withdrawal (complain, ask for rush jobs, make special requests) you’ll have some rapport to ensure your contractor will at least consider your point of view.
Tip # 3: Be Friendly
This may seem like a no-brainer, but contractors, like many other professionals, deal in high-stress situations routinely. Often they are blamed for mistakes of other contractors or for mistakes that are beyond their control. A friendly smile and an inquiry into how their day is going will set their mind at ease and make them more likely to be honest with you.
Tip # 4: Be Proactive
Ask your contractor what, if anything, you need to do to prepare for the job. Your contractor will LOVE you for this simple gesture. Before he even gets to your job, this gesture tells him you will more than likely be easy to work with. When our clients ask us if they need to move furniture away from windows, we love that simple question. Usually, it’s not necessary for clients to move their furniture, however, they are already thinking about how to make our job go smoothly.
Tip # 5: Be Flexible
Be flexible with your schedule. Many factors such as weather, supply chain issues, and set backs on previous jobs can cause delays. Most of the time delays are not due to incompetence. Again, stand your ground when you need to (another reason to build up that rapport account) but try and also rework your schedule, especially if your contractor has communicated with you clearly and often. Once your contractor sees that you are easy to work with, your calls will be returned.
Faithann Basore is the co-owner of Windows Cleaning Plus. Eight years ago, she and her husband seized an opportunity to buy her brother’s window cleaning route. Together, Dave and Faithann, have turned the route into a thriving, growing business that serves much of the OKC metro area.
The company brings nature into focus for home owners, and brightens curb appeal for businesses through professional window cleaning. To learn more about Faithann and Windows Cleaning Plus, visit: https://windowcleaningplusokc.com/