Superior Home Improvement, based in Salt Lake City, is backed by more than 50 years of experience with the highest quality manufacturers of home improvement products. Superior Home Improvement specializes in partnering only with those companies that offer the most efficient, highest quality, and best-guaranteed products in the industry.
It is our commitment and promise to give you superior service and the best products available for your home and your family that will enhance the quality of life, increase the beauty and value of your home, and create a healthier environment for you and your family.
Making a choice
Your choice of a contractor is vital to the success of your home improvement project. Whether it is roofing, siding or replacement windows, select your contractor with care, as you would any other professional, like a doctor or lawyer. You will find that good contractors are everywhere, but please take the time to sort through all of the options available before making a choice.
Most contractors are honest professionals. However, as in any buying situation, it’s your job to be on the lookout for the unscrupulous few. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) warns are some of the danger signs of fraud*:
- High-pressure sales tactics or threats to push you into signing up on the spot
- Attempts to scare you into signing for “urgent” repairs
- Offers to consolidate your existing loans through a home improvement contractor
- Offers of a “bargain” price using “leftover materials” from a contractor who makes unsolicited phone calls or visits to your home
Just as you comparison shop for products, you should ask for bids from at least two or three reputable contractors. (To be fair, have them base their bids on the same specifications and materials.) Allow yourself the time to sit down and discuss the details of your home improvement project with each prospect. Be prepared to ask the questions that will help you determine whether or not this is a reliable professional who will be easy to work with and able to complete the job to your satisfaction. And don’t worry, a true professional will have no problem answering your questions and will most likely be pleased that he is dealing with a careful and informed consumer. He wants the project to go as well as you do.
Some questions you should ask in each interview:
- What is the full name and address of your company? This is a seemingly minor detail, but it can tell you a lot about the contractor, including how convenient his base of operation is to your home. Ask for a street address if a post office box is given.
- Are you a licensed contractor? Don’t be fooled — a contractor may have a business license (for tax purposes), but this has no bearing on his competence as a contractor. Many contractors give out an expired or false license number. Call the Department of Commerce at (801) 530-6601to verify the license.
- Can you provide me with references from previous jobs? A legitimate contractor will have addresses in your neighborhood, complete with phone numbers for you to call. Ask the contractor if he is working on any jobs that you might be able to visit.
- Do you offer a warranty on workmanship? Do not be fooled by a salesman offering you a lifetime warranty only to find out later that this was valid only for materials. Be sure to ask if the warranty is for labor AND materials.
- How have you handled previous customer complaints? The point of this question is not so much to focus on the complaint, but rather, how it was handled by the contractor. Ask him to talk to you honestly about a job that involved a complaint. Also, find out if he has ever lost a job-related court case or had his contractor’s license suspended, and why. Again, be sure to contact the Better Business Bureau at (801) 892-6009 to find out if any complaints have been filed against him.
Questions to ask your contractor’s references:
• Were you able to communicate with the contractor? • Were you pleased with the quality of the contractor’s work? • Were you satisfied with the contractor’s business practices? • Did the contractor begin work on time? • Was the job completed on schedule? • Did the contractor fulfill all terms of your agreement? • Did the contractor stay in touch throughout the project? • Were the final details completed in a timely fashion? • Would you use this contractor again without hesitation?
Trust Your Instincts
Don’t underestimate the power of personality. As you conduct your interviews, try to get a feel for how you might get along with each of your contractors. And trust your instincts! Keep in mind that, for the duration of your project, this could be the person that you will greet first thing in the morning and as you arrive home from work each night. He and his crew will be in your “space” for a large part of the day. The two of you must be able to communicate successfully with one another and deal appropriately with problems as the project goes along. It’s worth your effort to get to know him!
Evaluating Your Bid
As you evaluate bids from your prospective contractors, you might want to consider the findings of a Consumer Reports study on home improvements. In a survey of nearly 12,000 homeowners who obtained multiple estimates, the 40% that accepted the lowest bid were less satisfied overall with their projects than those who were willing to pay more for the job.* Make sure that your final choice of a contractor is based on the “sum of all parts” — including professionalism, an understanding of your vision for the project, and a compatible personality — instead of on a single factor such as price.
* “Remodeling Without the Hassle”, Consumer Reports, 1997