Porches serve a couple of purposes. It’s a place where the family can congregate and socialize. It also enhances the curb appeal of your home, adding value in the bargain.
As with practically any contractor, you need to be armed with questions to help you determine who gets the job. Adding the new porch is not a DIY project. That’s why you’ll need to hire a competent and qualified contractor to ensure that the porch that’s erected is built skillfully.
1.What Do You Want?
As always, if the estimate, promises and grandiosity of a contractor appears to be too good to be true, a flag, which is red in color, should pop-up in your mind.
Do you want to hire two different contractors – one to do the design, the other to do the actual building? No? Then it’s good to have a general idea of what you want. Print-out pictures of what you’d like from doing a search on the Internet.
Set a budget. That way you’ll not over-extend yourself. Build into that budget the possibility of a 10% run-over in case something unexpected occurs.
How big do you want the porch? Do you want a tiered system with many levels? Will you need a ramp or steps? Do you want things like railings or built-in seating?
Be as complete as you can be when discussing this project with your potential contractor.
2.Find Your Porch Contractor
Websites like Pro Referral can give you a hand in finding people you’d like to screen before signing a contract. Once you’ve identified a few candidates, see if they are on the Internet. If they aren’t, when you conduct interviews, ask them to bring along some photos of work they’ve done in your area.
Also, ask about referrals. Call the people that have already had work done and ask:
• Did the contractor come within the budget? What caused the run-over? Did the contractor inform you the new costs?
• Did they handle glitches professionally?
• Was the crew likewise professional?
• Would you ever retain them for another project?
Pick three contractors from your pool of potentials. You’re going to be interviewing them for the job.
Questions to pose are:
• What type of payment schedule should you expect?
• Who is the journeyman of the site? Will this be my contact person?
• How many years has this company been around? Has it ever changed hands?
• What’s the daily schedule?
• Will you give me the address of a site where you are currently doing a job?
Your contractor may not have insurance because your state doesn’t require it. You want to choose a company that has comprehensive liability, even though it’s not the law. Also, ask if the owner has Workers Comp for their employees.
This is important. Some contractors sub-contract. That keeps the top man from having to shell-out extra money to cover the workers. If that’s the case, you want to see all insurance papers from every sub-contractor which the company will use. Why? A worker who injures themselves on your property could legally make you pay for medical care.
5.Licensing And Certification
A professional contractor will have all the appropriate certifications. They should be licensed. When they leave behind all of the documentation you’ve requested, don’t simply take it all at face-value. Check every source to see if they’re legit. Contact the Better Business Bureau, too.
When you’re getting a quote, request one that’s itemized. Ensure that you have a clear vision of what is being charged every step-of-the-way. The contractor already has to do a line-by-line analysis. If you get a hard time on this, tread with caution.
If anyone on your short-list requires an immediate commitment or says they need cash before they can get started, move on the next prospective contractor. As always, if the estimate, promises and grandiosity of a contractor appears to be too good to be true, a flag, which is red in color, should pop-up in your mind.