For many of us, hiring a contractor isn’t a regular activity. It’s not something we think about until we find ourselves in a position where we need a new roof, or there’s a problem with our home’s plumbing or mechanical systems. Then it’s all we think about until that issue is fixed! So how do we get it right the first time and choose the right contractor? Here are a few thoughts on the selection process:
Availability. If you have an emergency, getting someone there quickly can be critical. This can narrow options too if the emergency happens outside regular business hours. Having a contractor that is available on evenings and weekends should help you rest easier should you need them.
Reputation. Ask a friend you trust. Referrals are always a great source of recommendation. You can also check for indicators like Google reviews, accreditation with the Better Business Bureau and membership in the local Chamber of Commerce.
Skills. Don’t be shy to ask your firm about what certifications they carry. Having licensed professionals take care of you is a helpful insurance policy against getting the job done safely, and properly. In many cases, it’s also the law.
Customer orientation. You should feel comfortable talking with your contractor! Whether that’s the way you interact with them by phone, e-mail, text, or in-person, make sure you get a good vibe from the firm you’re inquiring with that they care about customer experience. After all, you’re trusting them to come into your home.
Pricing. For some, the lowest price will be the first choice – and that’s okay! But if you do value the attributes mentioned above, it’s reasonable to expect the contractor that fits that bill won’t be the lowest priced in their category.
On that note, if you are considering or needing new Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment or even windows, please be sure to inquire about Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Greener Homes Grant with your contractor. The grant amounts are increasing as of Jan 1 and you can take advantage now, saving up to $7,100 in the example of a heat pump. It’s a great time to improve your home comfort while taking advantage of some very lucrative rebates from the government.