Quick Tips To Screen Contractors (Plumbing, Electrical, Roofing, And More!)

Everyday we bid against fellow exterior contractors whether they’re local or out-of-state competitors. In the 30+ years, the one item that remains the same within the contracting realm among our customers is getting “3 estimates.”  We always advised get a referral (neighbor, friend), local contractor, and one out of the blue (internet)! Create a level of parity for your next home project!

Why Three Estimates Are Great

If you’re not sure about an issue:  We agree options suck at times, but when the cost exceeds $2,500, it’s not a bad thing to have a few options. It’s quite possible 3 companies may present 3 different solutions for the present issue or all the companies agree on the same solution. Questions to ask yourself: are you comfortable with them, do they know what they’re talking about, and will they solve my issues.

Cost Variance: It’s highly unlikely 3 contractors will ever have the same price even if they’re offering the same product/service. Each company has different costs due to expenses, services, and potentially services that set them apart from competitors. However, 3 bids allows you to see the this variance (apple to apple).

Deciphering The “Apple To Apple” Discussion:

  • Age of business, years with company
  • Warranty length (What is a warrant?)
  • Size of business
  • Insurance (How much?)
  • State Licensed (Allowed to even do it?)
  • Nearby references
  • Issues: Call you or phone service?
  • Internet search
  • Financing
  • Union/Non-union
  • Online portfolio/images/comments
  • Permit/registered

A friendly reminder that cost and value are VERY DIFFERENT, but the biggest item many forget is: comfortably. The famous Jack Welch wrote a book strictly on “trusting the gut” when making business and life decisions. If a contractor or entity makes you feel uncomfortable then you should ask why. The roofing industry is notorious for many unethical scams towards homeowners and is something to be cognitive of.

Customer’s Ethics: We understand every customer want’s to receive adequate service for their money, as they rightly should. However, do not leverage or squeeze larger companies to match a company. Please note this goes both ways! We hope you don’t hold the smaller companies to the standards of multi-million dollar company who may have many resources.