Along with providing quality work MGB Construction feels a fiduciary duty to inform you! Below are 5 key pointers to keeping your contractor honest and fair:
1.) Three is Key!
Getting three quotes is always a good idea. It not only helps to compare prices but it can also help you get a few different options. For example if you have a restrictive budget, three contractors looking at your property will give you three opinions on how and what to do with that budget. Especially in the case you have more work to be done then your budget will allow for. Having choices will allow you to pick the option that will give you the best bang for your buck. After you decide on a specific scope of work re-bid the work so each contractor can give you a competitive price for the new scope of work.
2.) Apples to Apples!
After you get three quotes don’t just focus on comparing prices. To fully compare the price you need to make sure the estimates are pricing the same scope of work and quality of materials to be used. A common mistake people make is assuming the low bidder is quoting the same quantity and quality of work as the highest bidder. Compare the estimates apples to apples. Ask yourself: is it the same scope of repairs? The same square footage? The same thickness and quality of material?
3.) “Insure” your project is done right!
There are two types of contractors the legal ones and the illegal ones! Check your contractor’s three major credentials for legality:
- Make sure they are licensed! Search your contractors name at the state licensing board www.cslb.com
- Ask your contractor for proof of insurance including general liability, workers comp, and auto.
- Ask your contractor for a W-9 and proof of a contractors bond.
Ensuring your contractor is legal protects your right for a quality job! If you have a quote that is well below your other two quotes there is a good chance that the contractor does not meet all the above criteria.
4.) Get what you pay for!
Unfortunately a dishonest contractor does not send a “dishonesty disclaimer” with their contracts, making them hard to identify. But there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you get what you pay for. Request weight tickets from your contractor. If your contract is to install 4” of asphalt make sure they do just that by calculating the amount of material that should have been used and compare it to the weight ticket (to calculate square footage per/ton use a material calculator). b. If your project needs to use a specific material or brand have your contractor prove they followed those specifications by producing an invoice or weight ticket itemizing the desired product.
5.) “Risky” Business
Do not pay until the end of the day: There are little to NO reasons why your contractor should demand full payment up front. Contractors that have substantiated themselves usually have enough capital to bear the initial costs of a job. If a project has multiple moves or needs to be completed over a long duration of time partial billing based on percentage of completion is common. However giving a contractor any money up front is risky business. If your contractor demands any up front payments please at least check their credentials by following the tips in number 3.