10 Steps to Choosing the Right Contractor
- Check credentials: Before making your choice, call your local Better Business Bureau and affiliated state and community agencies for a company history of complaints and resolutions to make sure the dealer is reputable.
- Ask for references: Current customers are an excellent source of information and are often willing to share their experience.
- Check local licenses: Ask to see any applicable state and local licenses, bonding, and insurance coverage.
- Get a detailed written proposal: Beware of a dealer that does not back-up their offer in a detailed written proposal. A detailed written proposal is one sign of a quality contractor.
- Heat loss-heat gain calculation: Expect a thorough calculation performed with an on-site evaluation. A good contractor should measure your home, check insulation factors and evaluate your overall comfort needs.
- Equipment/labor warranties and guarantees: Warranties and guarantees vary according to manufacturer and dealer, don’t be afraid to ask questions and demand that they are included in the written estimate.
- Follow contract law: Demand that your contractor follows contract law. A new comfort system is a big decision and with big decisions comes responsibility. According to California law, all home improvement contracts include a 3-day right to cancel.
- Ask your contractor about the maintenance requirements of your new system: What can you do yourself and/or does the contractor offer maintenance services. A maintenance agreement is one of the best ways to ensure your system’s performance, reliability and safety.
- Know and understand the contract: Beware of ambiguous contracts and again, ask lots of questions. It is very important to understand all aspects of the agreement with your contractor before any work begins.
- Get more than one estimate or reference: If you are uncomfortable making your decision for any reason, get two or three estimates or references and compare. More information is better than less; however, compare more than just price when evaluating estimates. Look for the best value!
The Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Contractor:
By selecting a qualified heating, cooling and indoor air quality contractor you will avoid many of the common home improvement hazards including:
- Frequent system breakdowns
- Improper installation
- Unsafe and/or inefficient operation
- Shortened equipment life
- Lack of timely service
- Unusually high energy bills
- Voiding of factory warranties
- Theft, property damage or worse
Brody-Pennell is one of California’s largest and most trusted home comfort specialists and we encourage our customers to do their home work. We’re confident that, in the end, we can earn your business and help you avoid the perils of selecting the wrong contractor. There are no shortcuts when it comes to selecting the right contractor; however, given the opportunity, we hope to earn your business.