Last week I wrote about hiring contractors. Today I’ll share some reasons why you should consider hiring, well, us! I saw an article online entitled “Selecting a Pro-Most Asked Questions of Contractors“, which is apparently a reprint from the Wallcoverings Association (WA), and thought I’d respond to both the article and last week’s post. According to the article, the most commonly asked questions of members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) include “When can you start?” and “Are you going to work everyday?” The author interviewed John Stanforth of John Stanforth Construction in Ohio, who was quoted as saying:

During an interview with a homeowner when homeowners should be asking about my credentials and verifying my business practices all I hear is: when can you start? when will it be finished? and how much will it cost? … While a reasonable timetable is important, it shouldn’t be the primary focus of an interview or a job – neither should budget. Homeowners should be focusing on trust and quality. If you find someone who is reputable and trustworthy, the budget and timeline will fall into place.

Although the article was apparently written in 1999, Mr. Stanforth’s suggestions are still valid today. What good is having a contractor start and end on schedule if the work is falling sub-par? What good is having a contractor stay within the budget if everything will have to be ripped out and redone at an additional cost? Questions such as those above don’t speak to the quality of the work and the real cost of the job. This is one area where doing your research will really pay off. If you find a quality contractor, he or she will work in your budget and timeframe and, more importantly, will offer superior workmanship that comes with a guarantee.

The article states that NARI members recommend asking the following questions (of which I have included our answers!):

1. How long have you been in business?

Rose Construction, Inc. became incorporated in 1990 but the president, Pat Rose, has been operating the business since 1986.

2. Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?

Depending on our company schedule and the type of work your project involves, your project manager will most likely be DyLon or Glenn (see their pictures here). Both are exceptional carpenters and have been with Rose Construction for a number of years.

3. Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?

We currently have five people in the field who do the majority of our work. However, as a small company, we do bring in subcontractors when necessary. Over the past 23 years Pat has formed some wonderful working relationships with sub-contractors in the Bellingham area. We refuse to accept inferior workmanship and as a result Rose Construction has an excellent group of subcontractors that we use. All subcontractors are required to have liability insurance.

4. Does your company carry workers compensation and liability insurance?

We do. Furthermore, we take safety very seriously and have an excellent safety record.

5. What is your approach to a project like this? and 6. How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year?

You must contact us for the answer to these questions as they will vary depending on your situation.

7. May I have a list of references from those projects? and 8. May I have a list of business referrals or suppliers?

Absolutely! Once again, you must contact us for this information as it is situation specific. We have references from clients in a number of categories (e.g. additions, kitchens, etc.) and also have a list of suppliers and businesses we have been doing business with that we can provide for you.

9. What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?

Though we don’t have a percentage figured out, a great deal of our business comes from repeat clients and referrals. We take pride in our customer service and relationships, which brings clients back when they want more work done.

10. Are you a member of a national trade association?

We are a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Additionally, we are a member of state-wide and local trade associations such as the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC) and the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). We are also included in the Master Remodelers Council of Whatcom County through the BIAWC, which is a highly select group of local remodelers.

11. Have you or your employees been certified in remodeling or had any special training or education, such as earning a Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS) or Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC) designation?

This year our Construction Manager DyLon McClary became one of only 2000 professional remodelers nationwide to earn the designation of Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers Council. CGR recognizes those remodelers who demonstrate exceptional business integrity, technical competence, a solid track record of customer satisfaction and adherence to a strict Code of Ethics.

I’ve now answered all the suggested questions from the article as well as from my post about hiring contractors. So, as a parting note, let me leave you with these final facts:

1. We are licensed and bonded!

2. Our BBB rating is an A and we have had a grand total of zero complaints in the last 36 months.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the nice weather coming our way!

© Rose Construction 2009