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Look Out! Bad Contractors Are All Around Us
If you've ever hired a roofing contractor, or any other contractor for that matter, you will have most likely experienced the difficulty in finding the right one. Sadly, in every industry there are fakes, scammers, and downright thieves. Therefore, it's important to be extra careful when hiring a professional contractor. Although surety is never guaranteed, we can certainly aim to avoid the possibility of partnering with a bad contractor by following these three steps. Without further ado, let's take a look.
Sometimes, the best place to start is to simply ask around. Chances are, someone you know — whether it be a colleague, family member, friend or acquaintance — may be able to help minimize the risk of hiring a bad contractor by referring you to someone they've personally worked with before. Of course, one person's point-of-view cannot be fully estimated, and sometimes, although a project turned out good for one person, it may not have turned out so well for another. Although word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to hire a professional and avoid the risk of he or she fudging up your project, it's not a surefire way.
Which leads us to our next point: Do your own research!
I can't stress this point enough. Even when you hire someone based on another person's recommendation—and even if that person is your best friend or sister—it's still extremely important that you do your own research! For the sake of providing an example, let's say your friend, Courtney, recommended a fellow roofing contractor named John whom she worked with on various past projects. Your friend tells you John's been in business for 10 years, has all the licenses and certifications required, and even showed up early each day to knock out the project he was hired to complete. That's all fine and dandy, but, fact-checking may actually reveal his credentials to be expired, or for this information to be untrue altogether. In that case, it most likely wouldn't be your friend misinforming you on purpose, but rather, a problem on the contractor's end. Even if your friend turns out to be entirely accurate, it never hurts to verify.
Don't be afraid to “Ask the hard questions”.
When you're hiring a contractor to fix your roof, repair a leak, re-shingle your roof, or perform an inspection, you should think of it kind of like hiring an employee. In the same way that a supervisor may ask the tough questions to a potential job candidate, you should also be asking a potential contractor these types of questions. Questions like, “How long have you been in business?”, “Can you provide all necessary documentation and licensing verification?” and “How do I protect myself against a possible breach of contract?” are the kinds of questions that may be uncomfortable to ask, but necessary in protecting yourself and your investment. Scheduling multiple estimates to get the best quote can also help ensure you find the perfect contractor—if there is such a thing.
Most of the time, when you're contacting a roof contractor, it's out of desperateness, urgency, or necessity, which means you may settle on the first available contractor. However, corners shouldn't be cut in the hiring process, just as they shouldn't be cut during the project itself. Settling can sometimes lead to faulty or incomplete work, or engaging with the wrong contractor. So ask around, do your homework, and don't be afraid to ask the hard questions!
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