Like almost anything today, it’s hard to decide who you can trust. This is especially true when it comes to people working on your home. We’ve all heard the horror stories about contractors robbing residents while they’re away, or never finishing the job, or leaving the house as a train wreck. It doesn’t have to be like that and there are several ways you can find a good flooring contractor. Unlike some other home improvements, renovating a floor or replacing tile is not a job for an inexperienced contractor. There are so many situations that can arise; having someone who knows what they’re doing is vital!
Today, we are going to look at six questions you need to ask your potential flooring contractor before you hand over your hard earned cash for some new carpet or tile! When push comes to shove, always go with your gut when hiring your flooring contractor. If someone or something just doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a good reason. So, if your looking for an expert flooring contractor in Bluffton, SC or beyond, read below!
Check Their License & Insurance
This simple step can really head off disaster. Even before you get a quote or estimate, verbally ask if the company is fully licensed with the state and if they carry additional insurance above and beyond the minimum state requirements. If the contractor has the least bit of hesitation or tries to side step the question, it’s time to move on. If you do get an estimate, before any deposit is made or contract signed, be sure that you have a copy of the insurance and license for your records. If the contractor doesn’t have the proper insurance, you could be held personally liable if an accident happens on your property.
Ask for References
The next thing to check out when hiring a local Bluffton flooring contractor is to ask for a few references. Most reputable flooring companies will be happy to give you a list of several past clients that you can contact. Now, you do need to ask a few questions when you get the references on the phone; make sure they’re not just doing a friend a favor by claiming to be a past client. A few simple questions will help you to vet out any fakes. First, ask specifically which room or rooms they had re-done and the brand of flooring they used. Ask why they chose that brand and how has it worn. You know yourself how tough it is to pick floors, and it will most likely be a long time before you forget the answers to these basic questions. If a reference can’t answer them, then that might be a possible red flag. Sometimes a contractor will give you a reference to call that they think liked them more than they actually did. These are good references to chat with. Find out why, in particular, they weren’t 100% pleased or, if there was an issue, find out how it was resolved. Again, with the money you’re spending on quality floors, take the time to do the little steps that will save you a lot of aggravation.
Ask for Examples
Along with references, you should definitely ask to see an example or two of their work. If you plan on having floors refinished, ask to see some past floors that were completed. If you are getting tile work done, ask to see a recent project. Again, most homeowners will be agreeable to let you come and visit if they’ve had a good experience; they most likely did the same thing when they hired the flooring contractor, too! Another very important note here – be sure you ask if you will get the same install crew as the completed work you are viewing.
Who Will Be Doing the Work
We touched on this above, but you really want to find out who exactly will be working at your home and the relationship to the flooring contractor. Not all flooring companies use their own employees to do every flooring install. This is common and should not deter you from choosing a contractor. Many times they have been using the same sub-contractors for many years on lots of projects. Find out who will be the supervisor, how many people will be at your home and for how long. Make sure you will be able to have direct contact with any project managers who will handle your install. Ask if the installers go through a background check and, of course, what their experience level is. Here too, use your gut. If you are not satisfied with the answers, move on to the next contractor. Always remember, there are tons of flooring contractors out there, some good, some bad, and a few excellent. As long as you’re not in a rush, you can find a good local flooring installer. Don’t settle for second best.
Ask about Clean Up & Possible Pitfalls
When you under take a large renovation project, two things will always happen: one, there will be dust, and two, there will be some bumps in the road. Get a good feel for how your contractor will handle issues that arise. Are the installers on site are able to deal with complicated installs? Can they think out of the box? The other big question to ask is about clean-up. Who will do it? How much will there be? To what extent? Dust and debris can easily float throughout your home. Make sure the contractor takes precautions to control dust and ask how far they will go in the clean up process. Remember, everybody will haul away your old carpet, but will they vacuum your new carpet?
It’s Not Just about Money
One final tidbit when hiring a flooring contractor, the cheapest quote is not always “cheap” and the most expensive estimate doesn’t guarantee a tremendous job. Mostly, you get what you pay for, and whoever coined that phrase must of been building a house! When comparing estimates, make sure you look at the overall picture of the company. How experienced are they? How long have they been in business? How long in the area? Do they have good references? A welll-run company will most likely be more expensive than the “one truck Chuck” working out of his garage. A showroom, employees, and lots of experience is definitely worth paying a few extra dollars for. It’s good to note here that most flooring contractors get their flooring stock from the same place, the actual price of the goods will be similar and the big differences will be in labor and warranty.
We have been in the flooring business for many years and to say that it’s in our blood is an understatement. We know first hand that there are a lot of companies to choose from when undertaking a project. We pride ourselves not only on our craftsmanship, but the fact that we are local. Being members of the same community helps us hold ourselves to a higher standard. When we see each other at the supermarket or ball field, we want you to wave and tell us how much you love your new floors!