Apples to Apples... What are you REALLY getting for your money?by Painting By Day Inc. on 07/07/11
We all want to save money, and are always looking for the best deal. So, how can you know that's what you are getting?
I mean, say you wanted a sandwich... You find three establishments that are offering you a sandwich for approximately the same price, so you pick the one that looks like the best deal. Then, you find out that the condiments and veggies are extra. Oh, and the bread is stale and the cheese expired last week. Not such a bargain now, is it?
It's the same with hiring a contractor, whether it's a painter, plumber, or electrician. Is the service they are offering comparable? Are they cutting corners? And at whose expense (or risk)?
So, what should you know, before you hire?
- Is their contractors license current?
Check their license status at www.cslb.ca.gov .
- Do they have Workers Compensation insurance?
If they certified with the CSLB that they are exempt from workers compensation insurance because they do not have any employees, it will show up on the CSLB website.
What does that mean? First of all, if they do plan to do all of the work themselves, it may take longer. Having your home under any sort of construction is somewhat inconvenient. Is the savings worth the hassle?
Secondly, what if they do bring employees? If they don't have workers compensation coverage, you could be at risk if their employee is injured on your property. Sure, they may be charging less for the work, but that's only because they aren't paying payroll taxes or workers compensation premiums.
- Do they carry General Liability insurance?
While this is not required by law, it further protects you and your property. Ask for a certificate of insurance coverage. All contractors are required to be bonded, but that only guarantees you up to $12,500 if the contractor fails to complete the job or fulfill the contract.
All of this may seem confusing, especially if you're already inundated with the myriad of choices when faced with a home improvement project, but ultimately you want to protect your investment. Choose a contractor that is willing to do the same.