How to Select a Good Emergency contractor

This is a follow up or update on
how to choose a competent building contractor posted on this blog a while ago.
For general repairs in your home the most common mistake is to look for a
contractor /artisan when you have a repair to do. This time you are
already under pressure to get it fixed, so you are most likely going to
accept the first tradesman you see.
The disadvantages of this is that you won’t want to price the work for
long. You have not had time to know more about that person and how good he
may be .
So when you get to a new place , please look for general services and
emergency contractors like plumber, electrician e.t.c
Yes, one of the easiest ways as also written by me in the older post is
to get references from friends and family members.
Another one is to get the reference from a building professional like
architect, structural engineer,builder e.t.c
He (the pro.) must have worked with the person he’s refering as they are
in the same industry, the possibilities of testing and knowing the
competence of the contractor is there.
Take time to get some names, meet with them and have a rapport with
them, then you can access their level of professionalism. You can as well
arrange an appointment with them and notice their punctuality, some will
respond faster than others though this is not a sign that one is better
than the other, because the other person may be very good and busy hence
he may need more time, just access the individual and find how you can
place them on your schedule.
Substance abuse also matters, though that is a personal thing, but a
contractor should be able to respect you and consider what you may feel
about him if found drinking alcohol heavily or smoking “indian hemp or
marijuana”

Here’s a checklist of things to consider when selecting your contractor.
Let’s use ratings of “Best”, “Good”, “OK”, “Fair” and “Reject” to classify
some of these items as stated in about.com though some of them will not apply to you
but I have left it unedited.

Getting Names of Possible Contractors: You have had good personal prior
experience working with contractor [BEST]
Reliable referral from direct experience of family or friends [GOOD]
You know of the contractor’s reputation but have no direct experience [OK]
You found them from a trade association or general advertising [FAIR]
You have had good personal prior experience working with contractor [BEST]
Reliable referral from direct experience of family or friends [GOOD]
You know of the contractor’s reputation but have no direct experience [OK]
You found them from a trade association or general advertising [FAIR]
State Contractor Licensing (they must provide the number if licensed):
Licensed; has never had a complaint filed or had disciplinary action taken [BEST]
Licensed; has no prior complaints filed for at least 3 or more years [FAIR]
Licensed; current complaints or actions against them within the past 3 years [REJECT]
Contractor has no license [REJECT]
Licensed; has never had a complaint filed or had disciplinary action taken [BEST]
Licensed; has no prior complaints filed for at least 3 or more years [FAIR]
Licensed; current complaints or actions against them within the past 3 years [REJECT]
Contractor has no license [REJECT]
Insurance (ask to see their certificates): Workman’s Compensation and
General Liability [BEST]
General Liability only (bodily injury and property damage) [GOOD]
Contractor has no insurance [REJECT]
Workman’s Compensation and General Liability [BEST]
General Liability only (bodily injury and property damage) [GOOD]
Contractor has no insurance [REJECT]
Business Longevity: In business more than 10 years with the same name [BEST]
In business 5 or more years with the same name [GOOD]
In business 1 to 5 years with the same name [OK]
New business under 1 year [FAIR]
In business more than 10 years with the same name [BEST]
In business 5 or more years with the same name [GOOD]
In business 1 to 5 years with the same name [OK]
New business under 1 year [FAIR]
Stability and Permanence: Has a physical business office and address [BEST]
Has only a Home office or answering service [FAIR]
Cell phone contact only, no office [REJECT]
Has a physical business office and address [BEST]
Has only a Home office or answering service [FAIR]
Cell phone contact only, no office [REJECT]

Reference Check (yes, you should check references) Positive prior current

references from at least 5 customers [BEST]
1 to 4 positive references from past customers [FAIR]
No real references or negative references provided [REJECT]
Positive prior current references from at least 5 customers [BEST]
1 to 4 positive references from past customers [FAIR]
No real references or negative references provided [REJECT]
Experience Specializes in the work you want performed [BEST]
Can perform the work you want but also does other types of work [OK]
Little to no experience in the work you want performed [REJECT]
Specializes in the work you want performed [BEST]
Can perform the work you want but also does other types of work [OK]
Little to no experience in the work you want performed [REJECT]
Scope and Price: (All Items are Required) Detailed description of the

scope of work
Assumptions (if any) are clear and accurate
Contractor DID NOT offer discount to “sign up now”
Contractor will Guarantee the work
All verbal Contractor representations are in writing
No more than 25% to 33% asked for up front
Final payment not required until work is complete

An architect with decades of experience

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