Choosing A Trustworthy Home Improvement Company: 8 Essential Questions
There is no shortage of home improvement companies out there, so it’s very easy to find someone to hire for your next job. However, the difficult part is finding a company that you can trust. Here are 8 questions to ask yourself before making your final decision.
Are the Online Reviews Positive?
One of the best things about online reviews is that they are usually uncensored. Since these opinions can be submitted anonymously, people tend to give an exact, straight to the point account of their personal experiences. Use this to your advantage. Pay attention to what the reviewers have to say. Was the company friendly? Were they always on time? Most importantly, did the company deliver on their promise? For example, if the company said that they would finish by the end of the week, did they continue to extend this deadline? While there may be certain variations in the accounts, you should be able to notice a certain pattern after reading through the majority. If you find that most people were happy with their experiences and that there are only a few negative reviews here and there, then the company may be worth checking out.
Does Their Company Website Look Professional?
It’s been said that you cannot judge a book by a cover, however, the look of a company’s website can say a whole lot about them. This is especially if the website look antiquated or makeshift. The company website should look polished and good layout. For example, when visiting Ygreneworks we see that this company has an ‘About’ section explaining who they are and what they offer. The website should also feature a few reviews of happy customers. Also, the most trustworthy home improvement companies list their locations.
Do They Offer Detailed Contracts?
Another easy way to find out if a company is trustworthy is by paying close attention to their paperwork. You see, the best companies offer contracts that spell out exactly what they will do and includes deadlines, how you will be expected to make payments, as well as the exact materials that will be used– even down to model numbers. If you run into a company that does not offer this or simply asks for payment and gives you a receipt, it’s likely that the company is not trustworthy. As the customer, you need to know that should anything happen it will not be the company’s word against yours. So, everything needs to be well-documented. Trustworthy companies will not leave you in the dark about anything.
Have Your Friends or Relatives Had Good Experiences?
You may not always find a company that your friends or relatives have done business with, but in the cases where they have make sure that they have only good things to say about them. Was the company courteous? Did they have great communication skill? How was their customer service? Were their unexpected hiccups in the plan and if so, how well and quickly did they respond to these changes? One of the best ways to find out if a company is trustworthy is to ask and get the recommendation of friends and family.
Are They Always Available?
The best contractors are not free to start your job right away. This may sound counter-intuitive, but the most trustworthy companies are always busy because they are always being recommended for other jobs. They have a continuous flow of business. So, if you find that a home improvement business is ready to start your project at any time that you give them, this may be a red flag. Even if they are a new company, you need to get more background information on them and do a bit more research before officially hiring them for your project.
Are They Licensed?
Perhaps one of the most important indicators of a trustworthy home improvement company is that they have a license. While many companies may claim to be license, it’s very important that you see these documents for yourself. Not only will this give you the ability to find out if they can do the work to specification, but you will also be able to look up their license number to find out if the company has any complaints against it. Trustworthy companies will not mind providing you with any documents that you ask for.
Do They Plan to Secure the Proper Permits?
Major home improvement jobs will require that you get the proper permits before you can start any work. While the most trustworthy companies will work to secure these permits before they start, untrustworthy companies will suggest that you get started before they get them. Not only does this go against local ordinances and lead to several costly fines if you are caught, but it will also mean that the work will not be inspected by your city to ensure that it is completely up to code. It will also cause problems with real estate dealings as well. For example, you may have problems selling your house when ready. These types of companies are not working in your best interest and cannot be trusted.
Do They Ask for Half of Your Payment Upfront?
Payment schedules tend to say a lot about a company’s financial status as well as their work ethic. If the company asks for half of the bid up front, then it may be a sign that they are having financial problems or they could be concerned that you will not pay the rest after you have seen all of the work. For your large projects, you should usually start with 10 percent when signing the contract, a portion mid-way through the project and the final 15 percent when you feel that every item on the list has been completed.
If you’re interested in choosing a home improvement company that you can trust, it’s important that you do your homework. You cannot leave anything to chance. By asking yourself these questions, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.