10 Things to Know Before You Hire a Contractor
1. Hire only a licensed Contractor. Any Contractor performing $500 worth of work or more (including labor and materials) must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board.
REMEMBER: Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking and financially responsible. A responsible and informed consumer can work more effectively with reputable contractors, and avoid being victimized by unscrupulous or unlicensed operators.
2. Contractors State License Board provides information about a Contractor’s license, bond status, and workers’ compensation as well as pending and prior legal actions. Always verify the Contractor’s license status by logging onto the Internet at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling 800-321-2752.
REMEMBER: A contractor’s license should be “Active and in Good Standing”. Minimize your risks and take steps to protect your home, verify before you hire.
3. Ask the Contractor to provide you with Certificates of Insurance for Worker’s Compensation and Liability before the work begins.
REMEMBER: Home Owners can be held liable for property damage and employee injuries caused by an unlicensed or uninsured contractor.
4. Make sure you have a written contract. Any work costing more than $750 must have a “Home Improvement Contract” signed before work starts.
REMEMBER: A “Home Improvement Contract” is a special kind of contract which is designed for your protection. It should describe the products to be used and how the work will be performed. It should also include “Notifications and Rights” of a Home Owner and contain everything agreed upon by you and the contractor.
5. Never pay more than 10% down or $1000, whichever is less.
REMEMBER: The contractor should provide you with a schedule of payments for the duration of the contract. You should pay only as work is completed and not before. The payments to the contractor cannot exceed the value of the work performed.
6. Get Warranties and Guarantees in writing.
REMEMBER: Warranties give you peace of mind knowing your equipment is protected.
7. Ask your Contractor if they provide a follow-up maintenance plan.
REMEMBER: Maintenance of your system is like changing the oil in your car.
8. Ask for testimonials and references.
REMEMBER: You work hard for your money. Be certain to verify the contractor is honest, dependable and does quality work.
9. Make certain your Contractor offers you Energy Efficient Products.
REMEMBER: Investing in Energy Efficient Products saves you money on your Utility Bills.
10. Make certain your Contractor is NATE Certified. See below.
REMEMBER: Contractors can be licensed or accredited by organizations, but you still may end up with an inexperienced technician at your door. That’s where understanding the importance of NATE-certified technicians comes in handy.
NATE Certified Heating and Air Conditioning Technicians
McLay Services is your NATE Certified Contractor. Our NATE Certified Technicians have passed rigorous exams to prove their knowledge and capabilities: NATE Certified stands for “Knowledge, Excellence and Quality Service”.
- Fewer callbacks and warranty returns
- Increased energy efficiency, resulting in lower utility bills
- Job done right the first time
- Fast, efficient service