Plenty of responsibility accompanies property ownership, and specific tasks are particularly bothersome. Some projects are too numerous or too complex to handle yourself or with your staff. Such situations, like major home-improvement projects, require hiring a general contractor – an expert who can oversee your project and ensure the job is done efficiently and effectively. Hiring the contractor, however, can cause as big a headache as personally conducting more menial tasks.
Who do you call? What do you ask them? How do you choose the best candidate?
Choosing the right contractor is crucial in making your home improvement project a success. Check out the following HVAC Contractor Hiring Guide:
Do your homework
Just because you won’t be performing the work yourself, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed about the scope of your project. Read articles and watch YouTube videos detailing similar projects to understand your options and know what activities the contractor and crew will perform for you. The contractor might have alternatives from which you’ll want to choose, or they might have questions for you should issues arise during the project.
What do other people think of the contractor? Talking with other consumers about their experiences with each candidate is vital. Start with friends and family to get recommendations on who has worked well for them. Be sure to check with neighbors and colleagues about their past experiences with local contractors.
Do interview prospects
Once you’ve researched and asked for recommendations, it’s time to interview your list of prospects:
- Call the contractors and ask basic questions, ensuring they can manage your project.
- Be sure they can provide additional references, paying attention to each company’s availability and reliability.
- Please choose your favorite three or four prospective contractors and meet with them in person to further discuss your project and their qualifications.
- Only hire the first candidate.
The first prospective contractor you speak with meets your qualifications. It might seem more straightforward to hire them and call off the search but resist that temptation. You can only compare a contractor to potentially better options if you interview at least three professionals before hiring a contractor for your home project.
It’s not enough to consider which contractors offer the best work ethic and track records. Price plays a huge component in choosing the best contractor for your project. Ask candidates for an overall bid on the project and a breakdown of those costs into materials, labor, other expenses, and profit margins. Be sure that provided estimates cover all the costs so you won’t be surprised by hidden fees. Avoid contractors who appear to be underbidding the project only to tack on unexpected fees once the job has been awarded.
Hire the best professional
Many people are rightfully tempted to hire the contractor with the lowest bid, but experts advise against this. For example, the cheapest professional might offer the best deal but also source low supplies or commonly experience project delays. So, split the difference and hire the contractor who bids the median price, provided you also feel comfortable working with that choice. But, of course, suppose you’ve done your research, and the professional with the lowest bid also offers the best credentials and stellar work history. In that case, there’s no reason not to hire that person.
Do ask for proof of insurance, license, and bond
Only hire licensed, bonded, and insured contractors to protect yourself, your property, and your finances. It’s not enough to ask and take the contractor’s word for it, either. Be sure and ask for written proof of insurance, licensure, and bonding before hiring the professional. This further ensures the contractor is trustworthy and qualified.
Don’t pay upfront
Be sure and work out a payment schedule before hiring a contractor. A contractor who insists on full or even half of the payment upfront might run into financial problems or have quality or timeliness issues as the project progresses. Experts suggest a payment schedule starting with 10% at the contract signing—three payments of 25% space throughout the project before a final 15% upon completion. Never pay a contractor more than one-third of a project’s costs upfront.
Do put it in writing
Unless the details of a contract are in writing, nothing is set in stone. When hiring a contractor, be sure to take notes detailing the project’s terms. When drafting the contract, including these terms, including agreed-upon completion dates, payment details, materials estimates, proof of liability, and procedures for changes. The agreement will protect the property owner and the contractor should issues arise.
Motili customers can avoid some of the headaches of hiring an HVAC contractor by taking advantage of the company’s nationwide support with more than 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers. Motili offers multi-family, single-family, and commercial property owners a single point of contact for all their HVAC service needs. The already-vetted contractors can provide all the HVAC repairs and installations without the hassle of interviewing, taking bids, and signing separate contracts.
HVAC Contractors Technology & Motili HVAC Solutions
It’s simple for facility managers to connect with contractors when they use Motili, and HVAC contractors no longer need to scramble to find steady work year-round. As a result, it’s now easier than ever to grow an HVAC contractor business with the Motili app.
Technology allows HVAC contractors to accept jobs from the app and clear communication with details about new jobs, service calls, and work orders. In addition, contractors using the Motili app can view and accept jobs as they become available for ongoing, consistent work. Since Motili averages more than 50,000 new system installs and more than 90,000 service work orders each year, there is plenty of work to go around.
How does it work?
Motili notifies contractors when a client needs service. Contractors choose which jobs to accept, but there’s no competition with other contractors once a position is taken. Motili provides the equipment, saving the contractor time and energy.