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You Can Never Be Too Cautious!

Building your dream home in Miami, Florida can be exciting and daunting! You want to hire the best of the best, like Istueta Roofing, right? You want things to go smoothly and efficiently, as well. Time is money, and money is a big deal!

There is so much that goes into a new structure or even a remodel, so it’s important to cover your bases. Know what you’re looking for and what you will get. Be diligent in your process and knowledgeable in your quest!

Homework! Homework! Homework! DO IT!

This can’t be stressed enough. When you are looking for a new car, you wouldn’t buy the first hoopty on the corner, would you? Of course you wouldn’t! The same thing applies for your contractors, roofers, architects, and so on.

Smart decisions are cost-savvy decisions! If you do it right the first time, you don’t have to do it twice! Nobody wants to throw away hard-earned money, so do yourself a favor and bring knowledge to the table.

Last month we had a post regarding our interview with Carlos from Mr. Roofing in San Francisco, California; he offered some great tips, and we would like to follow up on those with a  few general guidelines of our own!

  • Always hire a contractor who is licensed.
    • This is greatly important, as each state, and even county, has its own set of licensing rules and regulations. Being licensed generally involves a registration with a license-issuing agency, and it proves the contractor holds the minimum insurance required by the municipality.
    • Licensed or registered contractors protect the homeowner by ensuring the contractor has met the minimum insurance requirements.
  • Always hire a contractor who is insured! Most states require a contractor to have proof of insurance, and insurance usually falls into two types:
    • Liability – This will cover property that is damaged, or injuries that are caused by the contractor’s work. Not to be confused with the purpose of a bond,which is what pays for the cost of repairing or replacing bad work.
    • Worker’s compensation – This provides payments to injured workers. Not required by all states.

Without these insurances, homeowners could be responsible for paying out-of-pocket expenses if their homeowner’s policy is insufficient to cover the bills should a contractor be injured.

When interviewing a prospective company, ask to see its current certificate of insurance. Also, call the insurance company named to verify the policy is current and the coverage is sufficient for your project.

  • Ask if the contractor is bonded. This is usually an arrangement between the contractor and a third-party bond issuer. This is important for you as a homeowner and for the contractor as well.
    • Because bonding requirements vary among states, and even city to city, you can do yourself a huge service by being educated on the rules where you live. Look for a professional licensing agency or board in your area to answer any questions about state requirements regarding bonding.
    • You can ask your contractor for a bond number and certification to verify that the bond is current and that the contractor is paying regular premiums to continually renew it.

Knowledge Is Power!

 

The more you know, the better off you’ll be! You can find the licensing agency in your state by going to the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA).

Most importantly, follow your gut. If you get the feeling the contractor you hired is shoddy, you’re probably right! Eliminate those risks by following the steps listed above, and hire a contractor with integrity!

~Frank Istueta