When making a decision to hire a home or building improvement contractor, many important factors are often overlooked. Price seems to be the most sought after answer, which is just human nature. However, once you understand the various contractors’ bids for the work, it is critical to understand the following:
1) Are the products, methods, and materials the same?
2) Are the contractors equally qualified?
3) What are the terms of payment?
4) What is the scheduling window for your project?
If you have asked and answered these questions, you are far ahead of the average home or building owner.
Washington State has distinct rules, regulations, and laws that govern both residential and commercial roofing work. For example, it is unlawful, and punishable by severe monetary fines, and possibly jail time, to disturb any inplace construction materials, without first having an AHERA Asbestos containing materials survey completed. Surprisingly very few, if any, of the prospective “Professional Contractor’s” even know that this law exists, or even worse they know the law, but chose to ignore it. The law places the burden of this surveying on the residential homeowner or commercial building owner, not their contractor(s).
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries provides online information regarding each and every licensed contractor in the state. Visit the L&I Website and know the statistical performance of your contractor’s before you sign any contract agreement.
Worker health and safety is tracked and published by the Department of Labor & Industries. Any contractor with an “Experience Rating” (money paid into Workers’ Compensation vs. losses paid out). This is an excellent barometer in measuring the workplace safety history of any registered contractor. Each new contractor starts out at a 1.0, and moves up or down from that point depending on claim costs. Any contractor below a 1.0, statistically is a safer than average company. Understand the EXPERIENCE RATING of any prospective contractor.
The lowest price is seldom ever the best deal.