Let’s say you want hardwood floors installed in your living room. Before you start Googling around for hardwood flooring contractors in your area, read our six tips for hiring the best contractor.
1) Make sure you can accurately compare estimates
Different flooring contractors will have different methods of estimates. The information given may make it difficult to truly determine who the best contractor is. You might find that you are comparing apples, oranges, and bananas against each other.
One way to help alleviate that difficulty is to have the contractors list all the steps they will perform to complete the job at hand. If you are uncertain about any steps, make the contractors verify they will be working in accordance to manufacturer’s guidelines.
Once you have comparable estimates, you can then see which hardwood floor contractors are seemingly leaving out information and which contractors are adding steps no one else has.
2) Get everything in writing
After you are verified the contractor is the best person suited for your task, then you will want to draw up a contract. Make sure the contract lists the specific products the contractor will use as well as the specific installation methods. Make sure the contract explicitly states the scope of the job.
Adding a penalty clause to the contract is also a common practice. This penalty clause will detail what will happen if the job is not completed in the specified time frame.
3) Split your payments
Paying a contractor the full amount upfront could lead to a costly mistake. It is far better to split your payments.
One common payment structure is to give a 30% deposit at first. Pay the next 30% when all the materials arrive at the job location. Finally pay the last 40% when the job has been completed.
This payment structure will help prevent the hardwood flooring contractor from skirting any of their responsibilities.
4) Check the contractor’s references
Any flooring contractor worth their salt will have happy customers. Ask to speak to at least three former customers. These customers should be a mix of recent and older customers. This will give you a better overview of the contractor’s quality of work. If at all possible, ask the former customers to send photographs of their hardwood floors.
5) Check insurance policy and business license
You want to make sure the contractor is on the level. Ask to see their business license and declaration (“dec”) page from their insurance policy.
The business license a document typically provided by the city or municipality that grants the business authorization to operate in said city or municipality.
The “dec” page will provide you with an overview of the policy holder, who to contact in case of a claim, how much the insurance policy is covered for, and other basic information about the policy.
Also inquire as to whether the contractor’s workers are employees or sub-contractors. If they are sub-contractors you should also ask for their “dec” page.
Finally, check with an organization like the Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has any “claims” or “reports” lodged against their business.
6) Don’t go to the Big Box Stores
While the Big Box stores will typically be the cheapest option in your area, you have to remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.”
Professional hardwood floor installers — especially ones certified by NWFA — are far more knowledgeable and experienced. The NWFA is dedicated to training and educating wood floor professionals. A professional hardwood floor installer will be able give professional results and offer advice in case any questions arise after installation.
These are just a few guidelines to finding the best possible hardwood flooring contractor for your needs. If you have any additional questions or concerns feel free to contact us at the Philly Floor store by calling (800) 737-1786 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.