Finding a contractor is easy, but finding a GOOD residential siding contractor serving all of Portland can be pretty challenging. Every home improvement project is different, and you need the right contractor to make it successful. Finding the right contractor, even for a siding replacement job, will have a huge impact on the outcome of your project.
So, if you have no idea where to start, here are several tips you can use to find a good contractor.
If you are searching for a good contractor, you already have a list of prospective contractors but aren’t sure how to narrow down your list. Online research is the first step you need to take to narrow down your list of contractors when finding the right one. The internet has made it easy for homeowners to find and evaluate businesses, especially contractors. And in an industry where the smallest project can cost thousands of dollars, it’s important to get a real feel for your contractor through online research.
Start by checking the different contractors’ reviews on Houzz, Google, and Yelp. More than 2/3 of online searches come through Google, while most customer complaints are visible via Yelp and Houzz. If most of the reviews on these platforms are negative, dropping that contractor from your list would be best.
Most states have made databases available for consumers to verify contractors’ credentials. This is something the State of Oregon takes seriously. So, if you are looking for a good contractor in Portland, you can check the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) website.
Look up their construction board number, which should be available on their website or anywhere the contractor has advertised. From the search you conduct, the website will provide details of the number of complaints the contractor has issued against them. It will also include the number of times the CCB has pulled the contractor’s license for lack of insurance.
You can also check if the company has had other names before. If you see several names, that should be an area of concern. Other red flags you should watch out for include:
- Lengthy lists of violations and offenses on the CCB website.
- Too good to be true ratings. There is a high likelihood they aren’t carrying insurance or worse.
- A cheap price. While cheap doesn’t mean a contractor’s services are low quality, it’s still important to investigate the quality of their work.
But before you can rule out any contractor, at the very least, ask questions.
Ask questions specific to the type of project you want to be completed. Also, ensure that the questions aren’t too easy to skate through. By specifying your questions, you can easily weed out contractors that are good at talking their way through from Good contractors. Questions you should ask during your interview include:
- What is your design process?
- Have you done projects similar to mine?
- Can I speak to previous clients you have worked with?
- What is your budgeting process? Can you walk me through it?
- Do you handle the inspections and permitting process?
- Do you have a hold-back payment allowed in your contract?
The answers you get from these questions will help draw you closer to the right contractor.
Inspect What You Expect
During this stage, inspecting the contractor’s work methods and processing closely is important. You need to check three primary pieces of information.
Inspect the Budgeting Process: You need to know how your contractor communicates their budgets. Ask for a sample budget project, as this will help give you an idea of what to expect for your project. Also, ensure that the budgeting process is as transparent as possible. This will help guarantee that there are no surprises later on.
Inspect the Scheduling Process: You must determine how the contractor manages the scheduling process. Do they use planning software? If so, can you access it? Do they communicate information via a shared spreadsheet? You can ask for a previous project schedule to understand how contractors manage their work.
Inspect the Contract: Carefully inspect the terms of the contract. Make sure you ask to see the contract terms before paying anything, as you wouldn’t want to be surprised later on.
With the tips above, getting a good contractor gets easier. However, ensure that you follow every step as you wouldn’t want surprises at the end of the road.