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Free Access: How do I make the right choice between contractors?

Sometimes, we have to hire a professional and it can be a daunting task. Even referrals are no guarantee that all will be well with your choice. The other day, a client was in my office sharing a negative experience with a local contractor. My client had gotten a referral from a neighbor. The experience the neighbor had, had been a good one. My client – not so good.

When I asked what had happened, the client informed me that the job dragged on for months, the work wasn’t done correctly, and he could not get the contractor to come back and complete the project. (This was for some plumbing work).

I was familiar with the company and couldn’t believe the owner conducted his business in this way. It was then that a very important detail was discovered. My client had chosen to hire the employee of the company, not the company itself. (The neighbor that had offered the referral, had hired the company rather than an individual employee).

So, I said, “Let’s look at what took place here”. We took a minute to evaluate the character of the one my client chose to hire. My client hired someone who lacks loyalty. If the “contractor” couldn’t exhibit loyalty to his employer, who provides him constant employment, how could anyone expect him to exhibit loyalty to them? I asked if he worked in his own truck or used his employer’s, and the answer: was his employer’s truck. In my opinion: “in addition to being disloyal, this contractor was also a thief.” He used his employer’s gas, tools, equipment, marketing expenses, and job opportunities to further his own interest and benefit, rather than allow his employer to receive the call. All of this was traded in for a cheaper price.

This is not to say that hiring an unlicensed skilled craftsman to perform a job for you will always be a negative experience, no more than all licensed professionals will deliver a perfect job. All things must be considered. If having the assurance of being protected by workman’s compensation and General Liability is important to you, then you should consider only companies that can provide that protection.

The best approach in choosing a contractor would be to maximize the most positive attributes possible:

  • Is the contractor properly licensed in the state? Simply ask the contractor to see his license.
  • Does the company have a good reputation? Check out a contractor’s Google and Facebook reviews.
  • Can the contractor offer positive referrals? Every good contractor will have them.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for an unbiased evaluation

Any job that requires the work of a contractor should be thoroughly vetted. Don’t look at the cost.  Look at the “investment” and if you are getting the ROI on your hard-earned money!

Please click back to my thought leader page for more information.

J.D.

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