"We don't want to breath dust and smelly oil based finishes, so why should you? Insist that your contractor use dust containment and low odor finishes!"
How to choose a professional flooring contractor
There are several factors for homeowners to consider as they search for a flooring contractor. Below are the facts to obtain and the questions to ask before you make this important decision.
Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured. You can call your county licensing bureau for verification. Quality contracting firms will be happy to provide you with copies of their certificates of insurance.
Insist upon a written contract that clearly outlines the scope of the proposed project. It should include details such as a clear description of what will be done, what products will be used, time schedules for the project, payment procedures, and a statement clarifying who will be doing the actual work.
Does the time frame for completing the job sound realistic? Find out how many other jobs they will have going on at the same time as yours.
Be wary of requests for full payment up front. A contractor who asks for payment in full at the beginning of the project may be having financial problems, or is worried that you'll be dissatisfied and won't pay the balance once the job is completed.
Ask the contractor if subcontractors will be used. If so, make sure the subcontractors have proper licensing, insurance.
Request a list of references, and be sure to actually make the calls. If you only ask one question, it should be, "Would you hire this flooring contractor again?"
Go one step further. You may wish to visit to former jobs, or jobs-in-progress to determine for yourself the quality and workmanship. It's always a good idea to check your local Better Business Bureau for reassurance that the contractor you're considering hiring does not have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.
Be willing to spend a few extra dollars on high quality stain and finish products. This cost does not add significantly to the total bill, but will add years of satisfaction once the job is complete. If your contractor convinces you to save money by using cut-rate products, you may end up spending your hard-earned leisure time watching your floor's finish wearing off.
Question low bids. Keep in mind that a low bid may be the red flag of a contractor who's out to cut corners (and quality.)
And finally, you should hire someone with whom you communicate well with, and who appears to take a genuine interest in working for you.
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