How To Choose A Tile Contractor
You have a vision or at least you know you want a change that involves tile. Most tile contractors are willing to do the work, but which one should you choose?
A Good Fit
Choosing from amongst tile contractors is all about knowing what to expect and what questions to ask. These persons or person will be in your home for a couple days or perhaps a month, albeit probably mostly while you are at work. Some contractors insist on coming earlier than 8am and may require working late. What are their regular work hours? Will they be working on the weekend? When will they come to do the job? How long will it take?
Your Reputation Precedes You
A great way to examine tile contractors' abilities and professionalism is to see what others have experienced hiring them. Google reviews are a great starting point to see which contractors are getting positive or negative responses. If a tile contractor has been around for a while, that is another indication that they are getting good referrals and have grounded themselves in the community. Tile contractors that have been around for more than a few years have already survived longer than 74% of construction businesses that have started up in that same time frame. If they have been around for over 10 years, they are in the 6% that have survived. With that said, you may want to consider which one of those tile contractors will likely be around to finish your job, even more so which one would be able to afford to come back, on their dime, if something goes wrong.
What A Relief!
People who hire tile contractors often enough, learn that when you find tile contractors that are reliable, proven, honest and professional, they can rest easy knowing that their investment is secure. That their wants and needs will be met. That their tile job will be a work of craftsmanship. That the scheduled time frame will be respected, even if things do happen, and they do. That if there are any problems later on, their contractors will answer that phone call and come back.
A Healthy Relationship
Installing tile is an intense process that requires perseverance of mind and body simultaneously. Happy tile contractors are less distracted and prone to mistakes. A respectful and courteous relationship encourages the natural tendency for a craftsman to go beyond the normal call of duty.
Responsible & Honest
Tile contractors need to be licensed in order to work legally in Brandon and some rural towns in Westman. You should be able to obtain confirmation of license by calling your local town hall.
Responsible tile contractors also carry insurance. If anything should happen (and sometimes things happen) it is reassuring to know that they are covered. Do not be shy to ask for proof of insurance, if they do not respond ready and willing, take note of the red flag that just got tossed up for you to see. Try to remember to ask before the first meeting so they can have it ready for you.
Receipts Are Reassuring
A GST number on the quote will help tell you if they pay their taxes. If a contractor asks for cash and winks, know that they are already not being honest with our government. What makes you think they will be honest with you? Important note, businesses that make less than $30,000 a year do not need to have a GST number. Cash jobs also carry other looming consequences. If the contractor's business is audited and ended, who will come do warranty work or perhaps even finish your job. If the project needs to go to court, will you have receipts and paper trail for your defence?
Those Who Know
Ask for references from previous clients. JMJ Tileworks will happily provide previous customer references upon request.
What's In A Quote?
Any job over $2500 should be a firm price quotation. Are you hiring a contractor to provide a finished product or are you hiring an employee to have to concern yourself with personally. Seasoned tile contractors can quote within 1% of their actual costs to build your project. If they push a little harder to get the job done sooner, they get a little reward for their efforts and you get back to your normal life faster. The motivation to get your job done faster is not so prevalent with time and material contracts. Construction is expensive, usually 30-40% more than what a homeowner expects to pay. A firm price contract forces tile contractors to let you know the truth of the cost upfront as opposed to after you've hired them. This allows you to scale back your selections (which accounts for 40-60% of the cost) or the design to suit your budget before beginning construction or install.
Do Some Homework & Commit
Consumer advocates will advise multiple quotes. This can have unforeseen consequences. First, there are fine craftsman who are well established and may not even get involved in bidding. In an industry with a 94% failure rate, contractors who survive and know what they are doing, do not compete on price. Look for a contractor you can trust, who has a reputation and does good work. If they are a good fit when you meet, commit to seeing if they can work with your budget. They should be able to offer economical solutions for a budget conscious install. Sometimes, the job may have to wait until funds are
available. Some contractors, like JMJ Tileworks, have financing solutions that can help you realize your project when you want it.
Statistics have been referenced from Markup & Profit A Contractors Guide by Michael Stone.