Do you hear that? That is your air conditioner making a weird sound. It’s your toilet overflowing. Maybe it’s your ceiling fan shorting out.
When something breaks in your home you want it fixed quickly. Not only that, you also want it fixed right. You also don’t want to pay a lot for the repair.
Well, the bad news is you can’t have fast, cheap, and good. You normally only get two of the three.
A cheap and fast job will normally result in poor quality work. You will most likely have to pay someone else to fix it correctly.
Good quality and cheap will take time. Companies will probably put other customers ahead of you.
Good quality work, done quickly will be expensive.
Most companies will give you a happy medium between the three. You will get good quality, done in a reasonable amount of time, for a good rate.
Why am I telling you this? Well, these are the things you need to think about when you are hiring a contractor. You will get what you pay for. Sometimes you will get what you didn’t pay for.
When you see an ad on Craigslist or Facebook from some random guy saying he can fix your problem cheap or install something for you, you might want to think about it a little before calling him.
Here is what you need to know before you hire someone to work in your home.
Are they licensed?
Licensing is regulated by the states. Michigan requires companies, or individuals, to be licensed if they are in the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or construction fields. If an individual is working for a company, the company needs a license. If he or she is working alone then he or she needs to be licensed. There is a lot more to licensing but it is not important for this article.
If an unlicensed company or individual performs work in your home it could void the warranty of whatever they are working on. It could also affect your insurance. For example, an unlicensed individual installs a ceiling fan in your home. He leaves wires exposed in your attic. The wires spark and your house burns down. Then the insurance company doesn’t pay because you hired an unlicensed guy to install your fan.
That might be a bit extreme, but it is not out of the realm of possibility.
Are they insured?
A contractor should have two insurance policies. One for liability and one for worker’s compensation.
Liability insurance allows the contractor to file a claim for property damage, equipment damage, and things of that sort.
Worker’s Compensation insurance allows the contractor to file a claim for injuries to himself or his employees.
If an uninsured worker gets injured in your home or on your property you could be liable. They could blame you for getting injured and force you to pay for their medical bills and equipment damage. If this happens, your insurance company will most likely not protect you. A lot of insurance companies have an uninsured contractors clause that gets them out of paying.
Always ask a company if they are licensed and insured. If they say yes, ask them to prove it. Don’t take the risk of voiding your warranties or being sued just to save a couple dollars.
Ask what other projects they have done.
Just because they have a license and insurance doesn’t automatically mean they are great at what they do. Look for reviews and testimonials. If they only have one testimonial and it is two years old, you might want to keep looking.
Spend a little time researching the company or individual you are planning to hire. I’m not saying check references of the fire department while your house is on fire. An emergency is an emergency. If you have some time to do some research and ask some questions you should.