The idea for this post came about from a very unsavory experience with a so-called handyman we hired a few months ago. He incorrectly replaced some old rollers on a number of our sliding doors. It wasn’t until we had the repair redone by the professionals at www.reflectwindow.com that the sliding door hardware actually worked like as was designed to.
The worst part of it all was that we didn’t have a secure home for nearly 3 days – not good!
After I had calmed down, it dawned on me that it was all my fault. Let me explain….I had no clue as to what I was doing. I put all my faith in somebody I had never met before simply because he said he could do the job. BIG MISTAKE.
I now realize that was MY responsibility to make sure that the job went smoothly. After all, it’s my home and my money!
So if your stay in London is a little more permanent, here are some steps I’ll be taking in the future when finding and using quality contractors and tradesmen. Notice I said quality and not cheap. That may give you a clue as to the main cause of my problems – which we won’t talk about anymore!
And by the way, if you opt to do it yourself, you better know what you’re doing. These are rarely times for experimentation.
Getting good results will depend on your priorities. It is important to find a contractor who can do a good job for you and at a reasonable price. So here are some tips that can get you started:
- Get an insured, licensed contractor: It is important to work with someone or a company that is licensed. A license is a proof that the contractor is qualified to handle the job that is in question. If you want to find out if a contractor in Ontario is licensed, you just have to consult the state licensing board and look up their records. On the other hand, insurance is an important aspect to consider as well. Insurance serves to protect the people who will be working on your premises. This is to make sure that, if someone was to get injured while on job, you will not have to take responsibility.
- Reviews and referrals: Before you can even think of other resources to use in searching for contractors, it is important to ask your family and friends if they know of anyone you can hire. In fact, in many instances, good contractors are normally found through word of mouth. MAKE SURE YOU ASK PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Just like in the first case, you still have to ensure that the referrals are licensed. If you cannot get any referrals, some online reviews on local contractors might be a great help for you.
- Interview the candidates: Once you have completed the task of finding the contractors, it is that time you got to know more about them. There are certain key questions that you would have to ask them to ascertain whether they are really up to the task. For instance, you might want to ask them about how long they have been doing the job, how they intend to work on the project you are assigning them, whether their company carries liability insurance, and how many projects that are related to yours they have worked on before. The answers that you get to these questions should give you a general feel for the contractor. I find that I can learn a lot about a person just by having a casual chat.
Of course how detailed or lengthy this process depends on your knowledge of the situation facing you and/or the complexity and cost of the job.