Hiring a Contractor – A Good Time Not to Cut Corners

contractor-home-improvementIt’s officially here: Summertime! Which means it’s time for those projects you’ve been day-dreaming of (or dreading) since last summer. Whether you’re redoing your gutters, replacing worn-out siding, giving your roof a bit of a face-lift, or beginning that addition to the kiddo’s room, there are any number of things to be done!

So you’ve got your project, your plan, and your budget, but you may not know where to start…or what your local regulations are…or what type of  hardware you need…or even where to buy an extra set of hands for those heavier projects. So you come to that fateful decision: Who to hire? You obviously want to be as cost-effective as possible, while hiring someone who’ll get quality work done. Your buddy Jeff used to be a contractor, and would probably only cost you a cold beer and some pizza. You also know your brother-in-law’s son does a lot of DIY projects, and is relatively up-to-date on the rules. Do you really need to pay a professional company or contractor to throw some new siding on your house?  The choice is yours, obviously, but there are some things we’d encourage you to consider before calling up your nephew Louie, who built that shed that one time.

First and foremost, liability. If your pal Jeff  starts feeling strong hanging drywall in your son’s new bedroom, tries to hoist that sheet rock without you, loses his balance, and crashes to the floor…well, you may as well start filling out that check to the hospital right then and there. Without proper insurance for contract jobs, the homeowner, more often than not, is going to be footing the bill for injuries sustained on the job site. That’s both a good way to lose a whole chunk of change as well as your friendship with Jeff. On the other hand, some less-than-reputable larger-outfit companies don’t carry enough (or any) liability, should and accident occur. We recommend taking the time to confirm whoever you hire is well covered, because nobody plans on accidents happening, but if they do, rest assured that someone will be paying out to the hospital. Don’t let it be you!

You should also be looking ahead to when you may be selling. If you hire a contractor who is “knowledgeable”, but may not have been licensed, you are putting an immense amount of faith in them as a good contractor as well as a student. There are ever-changing regulations, rules, and codes for building projects, and if your contractor hasn’t studied up on the latest changes, you may be setting yourself up for a bad situation. Down the road, when you’re ready to sell, and that inspector drops by to give you the green light, you will want to walk into that inspection confident that everything was done right the first time through, rather than getting a grocery list of necessary repairs, and pouring a whole new bucket of capital into a completed project just to get it up to code.

Which brings us to our third point: Documentation. Hang on to everything! Get receipts, contracts, copies of any liability and insurance coverage…everything related to the job. Keep it filed neatly, and easily accessible. This can be a life-saver if shoddy work, discrepancies, or dishonesty begin to rear their ugly head during the project. The easiest way to deter would-be dishonesty is to have a paper trail for every hammer, wheelbarrow, blueprint, and contract on the site. This is also vital in the case that a legal issue arises. Having that paperwork on hand will save you what could be years of headache.

These are a few of the reasons Platinum Exteriors does the footwork to be a leader in reliability and an up-to-date resources for safety guidelines, local restrictions, air quality concerns, proper resource/equipment staging, and completion of each project, commercial or private, from beginning to end. Don’t let your project come back to bite you, hire a licensed professional company, such as Platinum Exteriors, for your next summer project!

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