5 Minute Read At Raleigh Renovations and Flooring we genuinely want to help people obtain a good flooring service. We know that many homeowners who are tricked into hiring nightmare contractors are the vulnerable such as elderly or new home owners. This article will help guide you in your decision to choose the right contractor.
When searching for a contractor, especially if it is your first time hiring a flooring or remodeling contractor, it can be overwhelming. There are so many types of companies with wide price ranges, some with warranties some without, some use sub contractors and some do the work themselves. The process of hiring a contractor can be daunting but this article will help you, even if you are not hiring us, choose a good company. Your choice on which contractor to hire will effect your homes look for years to come and if you are in the Raleigh, Clayton, Garner, Cary area we hope you hire us, if not this article will give some guidance on what to look for and what to avoid.
REVIEWS While its easy to just go ahead and hire someone because your in a rush, its almost just as easy to do 5-10 minutes of research. A real company who does good workwill have a place for customers to put reviews. This needs to be a place where reviews cannot be edited out such as a website. Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. are a good to start, look for reviews written by friends, family, or fake accounts; companies only on Facebook may have many good reviews written by friends who may not have had any work done by the company. Also check to see how they handled any responses to negative reviews. At Raleigh Renovations and Flooring strive to never get a bad review if we can help it. We only have 1 bad review from someone who is not even a customer. Not withstanding unreasonable customers or past employees there is not any foreseeable good reason for a bad review.
COST Do not pay any of the labor cost up front. This is the number one problem people call me about is they just gave a contractor $2300 to start a job and now they are not answering after the first day, and as you will see below, they mostly do not have a real company, so suing them is very difficult. Draw payments as the job is completed is ok, but we at Raleigh Renovations and flooring very rarely ask for any money until the job is fully completed. Cost is one of the most important factors we consider in all aspects of home improvement. With flooring companies there can be a over $2000 separating the lowest estimate to the highest estimate, for the labor alone, just for a medium sized job. When considering a contractor make sure to get in writing a very detailed estimate, even whether the quarter round moulding will be caulked OR caulked and painted. (It should at least be caulked.) Most do not offer painting Also make sure that if there is a problem such as subfloor rot at an exterior door they can fix it. This is not a rare occurrence, and if a company cannot handle a small repair job it may be hard to find someone to come and do that small job for a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time, this will put your job behind schedule and add to the total cost. I get calls each week asking to repair subfloor because the contractor they hired won't do it. We, as most companies, do not handle small repair jobs. Ask what the cost is per hour of a repair, otherwise they can just stick an arbitrary price on it no matter how easy it is to fix. As contractors, repairs put us behind and obstruct our flow and therefore this cost per hour may seem high but it will probably be lower than hiring someone else to come in. Basic items that should be on an estimate. Flooring labor cost per sq ft: Existing Flooring Removal: Exactly what materials are included in the stated price and if material pick up is included. You may need to ask for a list of needed materials if you are not sure. Materials you may need for hard serface floors: Flooring, delivery charges underlayment, transition strips, quarter round moulding, caulk, hardwood nails, putty, glue.
JOB COMPLETEION TIMEFRAME When the job will start and finish is a very important part of the planning process when choosing a contractor. Make sure to get these dates in writing. We are not hired many times because we give an accurate finish date on a job when others may give an unrealistic finish date just to get the job. Some do not even start the job by the stated finish date, others may leave in the middle of the job to start other jobs or take time off. It is important for us to always start when we say we will start and finish when we say we will. Of course there may be delays depending on many factors. Occasionally a 1-2 day overture may happen, although this may not be ideal, we can be understanding considering many customers report contractors missing their deadline by over a week, or even weeks sometimes.
WHAT TO AVOID Many "companies" to watch out for: >A company that uses sub contractors for the install. These are many times not well vetted installers and if there is a problem with the floor it may be hard to get your money back. These companies may have complaints against them. Do and internet search. >The employee of another company that goes off on their own without enough training or business experience, many of these people do not have a real company and you will have no recourse if they mess up your floor. Certainly if they do not have, at the least a truck and a small trailer do not hire them. >The "one man band" who has "25+ years experience" but who is installing your floor by themselves is another to avoid. Of all the men I've hired who have claimed 20+ or 25+ years experience and to have owned their own businesses, most did not know as much as the 23 year old who worked for me for 2 years. >A handyman who is in over his head by taking on flooring installation; the companies who "do it all" may can do it all, but they normally don't do any 1 thing very good. This type many times coincides with the 25+ years experience people. >The guy who has references but no reviews. Past customer references can be family, friends, or cherry picked customers. (all have a few happy customers, any many have several happy customers, but the ones who are not happy don't have a way to speak out and tell you not to hire them, its a sure way to get tricked.
So in short, do not just take a contractor at his word. Do research on any company and get every thing in writing. This will save you much time and money, no matter what contractor or company you hire for a job.