“You have a dentist appointment tomorrow.” This simple statement can evoke as much fear as a bomb threat! With the majority of Americans preferring a tooth ache than a trip to the dentist, oral hygiene often takes a back seat to fear itself!
I like to refer to this fear as “The Fear of the Unknown”. We all fear that which is unfamiliar to us. Will the dentist tell us we have a cavity or will he give us a clean bill of health? For this same reason, most homeowners dread the thought of a major home improvement project. Sure, the idea of a beautiful new master bathroom or a eloquently appointed gourmet kitchen sound great but who will do the work? Finding the right contractor to perform your grand idea may prove to be more difficult than you think.
Here are four things to consider when hiring a home improvement contractor…
1. Licensed, Bonded and Insured
- Before I owned my own company, I remember hearing my father talk about a company being licensed, bonded and insured. I could gather that this was important but I truly had no idea what it meant. Today however, I wouldn’t do business with a company that isn’t all three!
- The company you decide to hire should be licensed to do business in the city where you live. In the case of window replacement, the company you hire should have a Michigan Residential Builders License. Ask to see a copy of this license and double-check it against what the state of Michigan has on file.
- If the company you hire is bonded, it simply means you have the ability to get your money back if they fail to complete your project. This satisfaction guarantee is upheld by a surety bond that a homeowner can cash in if the work is not completed to a high enough standard.
- Finally, any contractor you allow on your property should be insured! If you allow a contractor to work on your home without insurance, you are basically assuming all the risk and could potentially end up with a major claim against your insurance company if an accident occurs.
2. In-House Installation
- Most companies providing products in Southeastern Michigan do so through the use of subcontractors. You purchase a product through a company you believe you can trust but then a different company shows up to your home to install that product.
- By working with a company that provides its own installation, you will not only get a better install but you will also avoid finger-pointing if problems do eventually occur. Most reputable home improvement companies use their own installers to install their products. You don’t know unless you ask, so ask your salesman if they use their own installers are subcontractor the labor!
3. BBB Profile
- A very quick and easy way to verify a company’s professional legitimacy is to review their BBB profile. BBB stands for Better Business Bureau and the BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.
- The BBB profile will display a grade for each company you review, spanning from A to D, it isn’t hard to see where a company stacks up against its competition.
- In addition to a letter grade, you will also be able to review a plethora of extra details about a company including the date of incorporation, company officers, written complaints and praises along with hours of operation and contact information.
4. Location, Location, Location
- When it comes to finding a reputable contractor to perform your home improvement project, making sure they have a brick and mortar office can save you a headache in the future. The after hours, weekend warrior who works out of his pickup truck may in fact do a great job but when it comes to company longevity, nothing says sustainability quite like a nice office.
- By choosing to work with a local company who’s offices are located right in your city you will have the comfort of not having to go far if problems occur. Even the most simple home improvement projects can become complicated. It’s nice to know that you can speak face to face with the owner if you need to get something taken care of.
- If time permits, take a drive by the company’s headquarters to have a look on your own. Most home improvement companies welcome the public and may even offer you the grand tour around their location. Seeing is believing and this small extra step may give you and your family the peace of mind you are looking for.
By remembering these 4 things the next time you tackle a home improvement project, you will be sure to hit a home run! Pure Energy Window Company is a professionally run and FAMILY owned replacement window company servicing all of Southeastern Michigan and Lansing. If you are considering replacing the windows in your home, we would be happy to guide you through the process. Give us a call today to schedule a FREE In-Home Window Consultation with one of our window experts. Call (844) 449-9990 or click on the link below.
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