Serving Staten Island
Everyone on Staten Island knows to make sure their contractor is licensed and insured . Here are the 5 most important questions to ask your contractor that many islanders neglect to ask.
Five questions to ask your contractor before getting any work done on Staten Island:
Are they skilled in all facets of construction, or do they rely entirely on subcontractors in certain areas?
Lots of Contractors rely solely on subcontractors to do the work that they can’t do themselves, for lack of time or skill. This is fine, however some of these guys have never worked together and can’t guarantee the work of the people they are hiring. If Joe Schmo specializes in laying tile, but lands a big roofing job and does not have an expert roofer, he may just sub the job to someone he find who will do it cheap so he can make money. Instead, you want your contractor to do the right thing, which would be to hire a more capable contractor and make a smaller profit to make sure the job is done right.
Do they rely on Advertising or referrals to get the bulk of their business?
Contractors are craftsmen and should always be busy if they do good work. An occasional advertisement to promote their business is healthy. However, a lot of them have to advertise to gain new clients because they’ve burned too many people and have a bad reputation in their local target area. Many times they need to target new areas, and sometimes promote themselves under a fictitious name. You want a contractor who has a great reputation within the community and with anyone that’s worked with him or her.
3. Water Damage & Mold
Are they experts in flood damage restoration and mold removal?
As you already know Staten Island is an actual Island and is dramatically affected by floods, septic pump malfunctions, sewer line backups, and I’m sure we all remember all the damage hurricanes can do (ie. Sandy). Did you know, most insurance policies won’t cover plumbing at all or water damage if they can prove the problem already existed before the event?! Plumbing can be very costly if not done with care, so let’s hope Joe Schmo doesn’t sub this one to the lowest bidder!
4. Insurance Claims
Are they willing to help their clients through the insurance claim process before starting the job if needed?
They may say, “sure we can help you make your claim, but let’s get the work started now.” Eventually you’re making those calls yourself, they already have the deposit to start the work and may have even started the demolition at this point. Now you’re already wrapped up whether or not your claim is approved. If you don’t have the money to pay for them to finish the job you can end up in a real mess, literally! So make sure your claim is approved prior to agreeing to go into contract if you are relying on the claim money to do the job.
Do they accept multiple forms of payment?
Cash is King right? Wrong!!!! Pay with a credit card so you have leverage in case something goes wrong. Calling your credit card company and disputing charges is much easier than trying to get cash back from a contractor who probably already spent it!
Moral of the Story
As you can probably guess, the Handyman excels in each of these areas, probably because he cares more about people than a paycheck. If you’re looking for a contractor now, ask the Handyman these questions!