Questions to ask your contractor
The process of getting new flooring essentially consists of two steps: picking the floor type and having it installed. Sounds simple, right? It certainly can be, as long as you hire a verified, credible contractor to complete the installation. There are many great contractors out there; however, it is important you ask specific questions in the front end to narrow your search to one contractor and to ensure he/she is the right person for the job. Once you have chosen your floor type, ask your contractor the following questions before the installation begins:
Do I have to pay for the estimate?
Many companies offer free estimates, so it's a good question to ask. If the contractor you are talking to advises the estimate is not free, then you can ask how much it will cost (if the contractor hasn't already told you). If the estimate is free of charge, you'll want to make sure they don't try to make up for it by overcharging for the installation. Hence, it's a good idea to get multiple installation estimates on your flooring. This gives you the opportunity to compare pricing and customer service.
How long will the installation take?
Once the estimate is complete, you will be informed of the installation costs. At this point, the contractor should have a good idea as to how long the installation will take. Be sure to ask just in case. The answer could be a major deciding factor, as your time is valuable and certainly you would prefer your floors be installed as soon as possible. Once again, multiple estimates will allow you to compare multiple installation timelines.
Are you insured? Proof of license?
Of course, you'll want to hire a contractor that is licensed and backed by insurance. These are signs of legitimacy, and any contractor without insurance or proof of license should be crossed off your list. The last thing you want is to be liable for damages that you didn't cause.
Do you have worker's compensation?
Similarly, you'll want to verify the contractor has worker's compensation through his company or insurance. Without workers comp, you could be responsible for any on-the-job injuries to the contractor. Worst case scenario, this could even lead to a lawsuit.
Is your work under warranty?
Warranty is always important for contract jobs. Most contractors will offer at least a one-year warranty for the installation. Hopefully nothing goes wrong, but, just in case, it is important to ask and verify information regarding each of the last three questions.
How does the clean up process work?
Installing a new floor is not simply a before and after picture. Materials, equipment, and hard work go into a flooring installation. Meaning, there is a good chance your house, or at least part of your house will be dirty for a few days. This comes with the territory, but make sure the contractor will clean up the mess once he/she is done. The point of hiring a contractor is to have the contractor install your floor to the point in which it is ready to be lived in the second he/she leaves.
Will I have to pay anything if you have to come back to fix something?
This goes hand in hand with warranty; however, get a verbal confirmation from your contractor.
Do you have references to provide?
Many contractors will willingly provide references for you to contact. This will be a good opportunity for you to contact a few of the contractor's previous customers. You can get their opinions on service and pricing. You can also discuss the execution of the job and how much the customer enjoys their new floor. Who knows, you might even make a new friend!
Nadine Floor Company can help you with purchase and installation. We sell numerous types of flooring and we do offer free in-home estimates. You can also take advantage of our ongoing specials to help lower your flooring costs.