HOW TO CHOSE A CONTRACTOR – Let’s talk about competing estimates for the same scope of project. They all seem to include most of the same information, therefore you go straight to final costs. All things being equal (or seemingly so) you choose the contractor with the lowest bid. Makes sense, or does it?
BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION, MAKE SURE YOU ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. A good contractor will be happy to answer your questions:
How long have you been in business?
What are the materials being used?
What is the warranty?
Has your company received favourable reviews? (Google, HomeStars )
Are the workers properly trained?
Does the company have insurance?
Will the contractor be subcontracting any part of the project?
And if the contractor says: “I can waive the HST,” your next question should be “at what cost to me?” No HST means no paper trail – and no paper trail means no warranty. And if service is required after the installation, how will this be addressed?
Also consider asking for referrals from:
– Homeowners in your area
– Material suppliers
– Commercial partners and/or property managers
In any industry where material costs are fixed, you must question why some contractors are charging so much less than others. Generally, those who charge significantly less can afford to do so because they cut corners:
– less time spent on your project (and less attention to detail)
– less material, or wrong material used
– Poor follow-up on customer service
Regarding fence work, you may be getting sub-par materials. For instance, not all PVC/Aluminum/Iron/Chain Link are made the same. Even the quality of finished lumber will vary from supplier. If your contractor says: “I can get you a similar product from another supplier,” you should be questioning just how similar the two products really are. The bottom line? Question the lowest price as much as you question the highest price … if not more.
AT IDEAL FENCE, WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN WHAT WE DO! No company is perfect, and we certainly don’t profess to be perfect. However, we strive to be as upfront and transparent as possible. Cutting corners is not what we do, and it’s not what you want. We are homeowners as well, and there is nothing more frustrating than learning of customers who thought they were getting one thing but ended up getting something completely different. Unfortunately, this happens more often than people realize.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our suggestions on how to find the right contractor. Check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Have you had a bad experience with a contractor in the past? Maybe you know someone who has. Please share your experience.