A small contractor is a person who possesses the skill and experience in a specific expertise and has the resources necessary to carry out a task to completion. Although it can be a difficult task to find a good, small contractor near me, whether you're a first-time homeowner or not and have purchased a property that is pre-owned or newly built. There are so many shoddy independent contractors out there looking to make a quick buck and upsell their service. It’s even more cumbersome to rely on a locally owned and operated small business that may not possess the proven track record of the biggest construction companies but is eager to prove itself worthy of your time and dime. Some Lehi homeowners may ask their friends and family for referrals, while others may look in online classified ads for a “small contractor near me” only to find they are overwhelmed with the information overload of options at their disposal. It may be time-consuming, but you are best advised to conduct research and inquiry towards an accredited service provider.
You’ve probably heard horror stories or have been a victim yourself in the past in which a sketchy contractor performed some makeshift attempt for a home remodel and gave you shabby results, for example, with peeling floor surfaces or leaky roof shingles. Trust us–bad contractors aren’t something you want to take a risk on as apart from impacting your safety and security and costly and permanent damage to your property, you may have to go to court and deal with a lawsuit, all thanks to shady contractors. Although you cannot foresee all the blunders that may go awry, you can do your best to be keen about asking the right questions so when the time comes for the actual hire and construction to commence, you will be extra vigilant about any mishaps.
Here is a quick survival guide of key questions you must ask a small contractor near me service before any home improvement project. Avoid spending your hard-earned money on a scam that will only disappoint.
What is Your Background Experience in This Business? How Long Have You Been in Business for?
First and foremost, you should be curious about the business itself as, at the end of the day, you vote with your dollar. A short informational interview will do you wonders as you find out who you are working with, what credentials and background skills they possess, their years of experience in the handyman, plumbing, carpentry, and electrician industry, any areas of expertise, and awards or accolades. Also, remember that quality trumps quantity. That is, a business may have been in operation for a long time but doesn’t have the results to prove it. Often overlooked is the fact a business could have been around for many years, but its reputation speaks for itself in the results they have delivered. So it’s a good idea to ask for examples or a portfolio of sorts of previous projects they have completed, especially any nearby in your neighborhood. A business that is accountable and transparent will have no problem giving you proof that the team members are experienced and the brand itself is trustworthy and offers only guaranteed craftsmanship.
Do You Have a Professional Contractor’s License?
Before you even designate a handful of small contractors to choose from, you want to interview them. We suggest finding out if your potential small contractor near me is officially permitted to work they are hired to do. Service professionals without the proper license for construction work should be avoided at all costs. Although many localities do not regulate licensing in Lehi and surrounding areas, it's always advised to go for a small contractor with a standard license.
Can You Show Me Your Certificate of Insurance?
Just as it’s advised you hire a verified contractor with a license, it's also good practice to opt for a small contractor near me who is fully insured. Unless you want to find yourself facing a lawsuit if you run into any skirmishes or injuries during the construction work on your home. At the very least, ensure the small contractor for hire has the appropriate worker’s compensation in case of an injury or fatality and avoid any liability as you don’t want the onus to be on you.
Do You Have the Mandatory Permits, and Do You Conduct the Inspections Required for the Job?
Not every home remodeling job requires a permit or inspection, but for some projects, it’s mandatory. If that’s the case, your small contractor near me is responsible for acquiring the proper permits for you. Depending on where you live, costs vary for how much a permit costs.
What is the Approximate Timeline for Completion?
Nobody likes a tardy contractor, especially for home renovations that seem to drag on forever. It’s best to plan out the work schedule by determining how much work is completed during each shift and any follow-up for deadlines. A mismanaged schedule will not only result in procrastinating your home upgrade, but the waste will also cause you inconvenience. For certain projects, you may not have to relocate for a few days, but there can be disruptions to your daily routines. For example, noise pollution, including whacking and banging for a roofing repair service, may leave you unnerved if you are working remotely. Small business contractors may also not adhere to strict deadlines compared to larger construction companies, but they should have a superior or supervisor they report to for keeping track of the services rendered. For example, an expert handyman aligns with a critical path schedule which is a series of critical tasks or workloads for that specific timeframe that must be completed. As a result, your project finished according to schedule.
What is the Payment Schedule?
It’s important, to be frank and decide on payment terms before any construction begins. No reliable small contractor near me should ever demand payment right away without having signed a contract or done any work. Smaller companies or freelance contractors, however, may need payment to purchase input materials as they may not own the materials in-house, such as laminate boards for a flooring replacement. Sometimes too, there are additional charges for material once a project is underway which may blindside you. Will they provide you with upfront price rates for material inputs? Either way, these payment terms including the total project costs including cost of labor and materials, dates of payment, and methods of payment should be discussed. Some small contractors may prefer payment in the form of installations at each stage of your project too, so it’s best not to be complacent about money matters.
How Reliable Are Your Team Members or Technicians?
Most construction companies are working on multiple residential and commercial projects all at once, so it’s vital to ask them if they will use third-party technicians or subcontractors. If that’s the case, different contractors may do work on the first half of your project compared to the second half. Although it’s best advised to have the same crew members handle the entire project to ensure consistency, you may not have a choice but to rely on subcontractors or any backup support. Make sure these subcontractors are overseen by a project manager who can measure their progress and also ensure they are covered under the same liability and workers' compensation insurance as your general contractors.
How Do You Clean Up After Yourselves at the End of a Work Shift?
This may seem like an obvious question as you would assume that it’s inevitable that a construction worker would clean up their rubble and discard the waste at the appropriate facilities. But you’d be surprised to know how some shoddy small contractors outrightly ignore this only to leave you to sweep up after them. The last thing you need is a sky-high pile of trash chucked in your backyard for weeks because you didn’t have the time to go to the city’s dump site. Plus, it’s a safety hazard as you can trip on any loose connections or get jabbed with nails, so it’s best to ask them if they are neat and tidy people.
Does My Service Contract Have Any Guaranteed Warranties?
The majority of small contractors do offer a warranty or guarantee on the work. However, it’s good to confirm what exactly it will cover and how long it remains in effect. Plus, the materials used for your home’s remodeling project may have an additional manufacturer’s warranty. Hence, it’s good to request copies of this from the project manager if you are not purchasing the materials yourself.
How Will My Property Be Protected?
Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question and although this one may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at the mishaps that can happen at a construction site. At a minimum, you should ensure your small contractor near me takes full responsibility for any damage done to your property. But you can be proactive and lessen the likelihood of any incidents by inquiring how they will secure the premises they are working on within the boundaries of your project. For example, will they relocate anything to avoid potential damage? What furniture and personal belongings do you have to move out of the way and cover up with a tarp? Will they lock all doors and windows before leaving your property for the day?
Be A Curious Ponderer, And Be Sure To Ask Your Small Contractor Near Me These Key Questions!
We advise you to do your homework before hiring a small contractor near me for a home remodeling project. You will find that you’ll only reap the rewards. By asking a handful of questions, you will weed out the shady contractors from the experts and can relax knowing you made a worthwhile decision for a small contractor. Plus, save yourself the hassle of endlessly searching online for a “small contractor near me” as Mr. Handyman of Lehi, Provo and Spanish Fork’s team of certified, licensed and fully insured Lehi technicians are raring to go.
Apart from Lehi, we also provide nearby neighborhoods, including Lindon, Mapleton, Pleasant Grove, or American Fork, with home repairs, installation, and maintenance services. Feel free to book a no-obligation consultation to ask these exact questions as one of our courteous customer service representatives can schedule an appointment and are on standby.