How to Vet a Potential Flooring Contractor During a Phone Call
In recent interviews with Modernize, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. One of the most important steps of that process is your first phone call with a potential flooring installer, during which you will vet this contractor against the others you’re considering.
While finding someone you feel comfortable talking to is significant, it’s not all an abstract exercise. There are some questions you should definitely ask during this phone call to be sure you’ve covered foundational bases before moving forward with a potential flooring contractor.
Use the question guide below and adjust it to your own circumstances to ensure you get everything you need from your flooring contractor vetting phone call.
- How long has the flooring contractor been in business?
- How much experience does the contractor have with flooring installation or incentives?
- What is the flooring contractor’s project estimate and what happens if it changes?
- Can the flooring contractor provide a list of references?
- Can the flooring installation company provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?
How long has the flooring contractor been in business?
Simply put, a contractor’s experience is tantamount to good work— and a flooring contractor is no exception. Years of experience could mean local expertise and technical knowledge that will elevate the quality of your flooring installation project. While less experience isn’t necessarily bad or indicative of low-quality work, it does mean the rates and warranties should be lower, leaving you room to negotiate on pricing.
How much experience does the contractor have with flooring installation or incentives?
When it comes to the quality and efficiency of hardwood floors and carpet —which will impact the degree to which your project increases the value of your home— existing financial incentives could further boost your savings after the flooring installation.
Be sure to ask your contractor for an individualized assessment of your flooring project. A trustworthy contractor will study the physical properties and opportunities your house presents —like local, regional, or federal financial incentives— to best save you money after the flooring installation in your home.
What is the flooring contractor’s project estimate and what happens if it changes?
Once you have an estimate of the project’s tentative costs and duration in your hands, you need to understand how it was conceived and what happens if anything in it changes. Be sure to get clarity on these details and don’t be shy to ask for an explanation if you feel you don’t fully understand something.
Agree that any unexpected project expenses will be presented in writing. Surprises, in other words, shouldn’t surprise you or your flooring contractor, and they definitely should not surprise your budget.
Can the flooring contractor provide a list of references?
While this carpet or hardwood floor could stay with you (or at least your house) for decades, it will also build, or continue to build, the reputation of your contractor’s business. Ask the flooring installer for testimonials from past clients and don’t feel shy to ask for contact information so you can call those references yourself and get a take on what their experience was like.
Connect with trusted flooring contractors in your area with Modernize. This is an important investment you’re making, so the more information you have about the company you’re giving your hard-earned money to, the better.
Can the flooring installation company provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?
When home improvement projects result in accidents, you want to be sure your family, your house, and all the people involved are safe and taken care of. You want to rest assured that your flooring contractor is fully insured for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. Even with a clean slate of past accidents, it only takes one to harm your project’s outcome and, more importantly, your personal savings.
Warranties will also impact your quoted cost. Most carpet and hardwood floor installers offer manufacturer’s warranties that protect you from faulty equipment. Some might offer additional guarantees for the flooring installation as well, covering potential damage to your house. Be sure the quoted warranty is clear in what it covers — and in what it doesn’t.
The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your flooring project is in good hands. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Resource Center or by Modernize Contractor Checklist.