We have all heard the horror stories of swindling contractors that took the money and ran, or the contractors that didn’t know what they were doing and ended up costing the customer a substantial amount of money to fix their mistakes. Picking a flooring contractor that is skilled and experienced along with honest and reliable should be your goal. You will be putting your trust in him to provide you with a superior floor.
Your first step should be to talk to trusted family, friends, and colleagues. A solid referral is the most reliable source to find contractor. If possible, look at their floors to determine if it is quality work. You want to ensure the contractor did a first-rate job. Ask if any problems occurred and what was done to resolve the issues.
Next, get at least three estimates from established, insured professionals. When looking at the estimates, make sure you are comparing materials used and square footage before looking at the final cost of the project. Meet with contractors and discuss what is expected of you before, during, and after completion of the floor. Talk about the process that will take place, how they will protect other areas of your home, and the details of their warranty. Ask to see a copy of their warranty to review.
After you picked a contractor, schedule a date that gives you enough time to prepare for the project. Furniture may need to be moved into other areas of the house, and, depending on the product you choose, you may want to find another place to stay for one or two nights.
Finally, make sure the contractor provides you with a contract outlining the details of the job, including any existing flooring tear-out and disposal and what will be done with the trim and baseboards. Some contractors may require a payment upfront to purchase the materials that will be used on the floor. Do not use a contractor who requires more than 50% initially. Final payment should be made as soon as the project is finished, but do not provide the last installment until the project has been completed and is to your satisfaction.
Be sure you are comfortable with your contractor. Do you feel he or she has integrity, competence, and is honest? You want to trust that you are receiving a quality product. Also, communication is key. If the contractor seems uninterested, impatient, or abrupt when talking with you, then it may not be the right fit. Feeling confident about your choice will help the project go smoother and be a more enjoyable experience.