Working with contractors can be very stressful, especially when you’re trying to ensure that you have proper heating and cooling to keep your family comfortable. But, honestly, it doesn’t have to be difficult. 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 a known entity. In other words, get some references from your friends and family to start your search for the right heating and cooling contractor. Working with people who have been referred by people that you know will be a step in the right direction to getting along with your contractor.
Check References, Certification & Licensure
Even if your friends and family recommended someone highly it is still important to check all references, and ensure that their insurance, certification, and licensing are all up to date. Be sure to ask the references whether the contractor finished the work on budget and within the time constraints set up by the contract. This is a key question that can help determine how on or off the bid is.
Get a Written, Detailed Estimate & Contract
Your heating and cooling contractor will be happy to provide detailed, itemized estimates as well as detailed contracts. This is going to protect you and the contractor. It will give you both something to look at when there is a disagreement or another issue. Don’t skip this part. Also, make sure everyone signs the contract.
Try Not to Focus Your Choice on Only Price
When you are gathering bids for your job, remember to focus on 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. Also, 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. Best that the business have one point of contact and your family also have one point of contact. Be sure to pass on information to your family though, 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. Most people use email today so that should not be difficult. Even if you talk to the contractor in person, back it up by sending an email to confirm what you talked about and ask for confirmation.
Working with a contractor doesn’t have to be difficult 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’ll meet people who say they could not get the work 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 by also being a good customer.