Working with contractors can be very stressful, especially when you try to ensure that you have suitable heating and cooling to keep your family comfortable. It does not need to be complicated. If you are prepared and do your due diligence, it honestly will be a cinch.
Work with Known Companies
Before you even start working with a contractor, ensure that you are working with an actual company. Get references from your friends and family to begin your search for the best heating and cooling contractor. Working with people who have been personally referred by those you know will be a step in the right direction to getting along with your contractor.
Check References, Certification and Licensure
Even if your friends and family highly recommended someone, it is still essential to check all references. Ensure that their insurance, certification, and licensing are all up to date. Ask the references whether the contractor finished the work on budget and within the contract’s time constraints. This is a key question that can help determine the bid outcome.
Get a Written, Detailed Estimate and Contract
Your heating and cooling contractor will be happy to provide detailed, itemized estimates as well as detailed contracts. This written document is going to protect you and the contractor. It will give you both something to look at if there is a disagreement or an issue arises. Do not skip this part. Also, make sure everyone signs the contract.
Try Not to Focus Your Choice Only on the Price
When you gather bids for your job, remember to focus on the overall quality of work and not just on price. Some companies compete only on price, and their work may not be the kind of quality you desire or deserve. Sometimes the lowest price can end up costing more in the long run due to poor workmanship.
Put One Person in Charge
When working with the contractor, be sure that only one person in your family is responsible for interactions with the contractor. It can be very confusing for you and the contractor if everyone in the family is telling the contractor something different. The best practice is for the business to have one point of contact, and your family also to have only one point of contact. Be sure to pass all of the information to your family, so they also know what to expect.
Communicate in Writing
Try to do most communication in writing so that you have a record of every discussion. Between email and text messaging these days, this should not be difficult. Even if you talk to the contractor in person, back it up by sending a message to confirm what you talked about and ask for confirmation.
Working with a contractor does not have to be complicated or confusing. There are a lot of stories of contractors not getting work done on time and not coming in on budget, but if you talk to contractors, you will meet people who say they could not get the job done on time due to the customer changing the scope of the project, or interfering somehow. Guard yourself and your contractor against these types of problems by being diligent in checking out the heating and cooling contractors in advance and being a good customer.
If you have had a good experience with any contractor, remember to refer them to your friends, family, and acquaintances. Not only will your contractor appreciate the quality referral, but the individual you referred the contractor to will be elated with the superior work and company you recommended.