Updated: Dec 1, 2018
Choosing the right company to perform the work on your floor can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. It's important to know with whom you will be doing business. There are flooring professionals, and then...... flooring brokers.
Brokers are middle men. They typically have little to no practical flooring experience. Their job is to sell a product , so they come to your home, give a good pitch and make you an offer you can't refuse. You're thinking "Yeah!" So, you sign on the dotted line and set a date. The broker then sells your project to whatever sub-contractor he can find. The only qualifications an EIN number and evidence that at some point they have liability insurance, which they usually don't even verify. The customer believes that the crew that shows up to do the work on their home are trusted employees of the business that sold them the floor. As long as everything goes as planned, they will be none the wiser. But, if there is a problem, the customer may find themselves in a legal quagmire that can leave them stranded with an incomplete floor, lien on their property, poor work quality or even worse. Having hired the company that sold you the work, you would think they are liable. In the end, they usually are, but your home can be left undone and in a mess while the broker tries to work things out with the contractor. There have actually been cases in which the sub-contractor has filed a mechanics lien against a homeowner when the broker didn't pay them for the work.
Flooring professionals do not use sub-contractors. Pro's such as Creations Hardwoods have been installing, refinishing and and restoring floors for over 35 years. We have carpenters that are highly qualified for custom staircases and handrails as well. Even our administrative staff is required to go through and remain current with floor training before discussing projects with clients. No matter who you choose to perform the work on your home, we want you to have the best possible result. Here are some helpful tips to avoid some of the problems and make it easier to choose a contractor for your project.
When interviewing a contractor, take notes during the estimate. Make sure all estimates include all the features you are considering such as vents, do they install floor base? Will that company move furniture or appliances? One of the biggest differences between estimates is the brand, type, and number of coats of finish that are included in the offer. What type of dust management do they offer? By doing this, all contractors are providing apples to apples estimates and you will get the exact floor you want without surprises and extra charges in the end.
Interview at least 3 contractors. Make sure each one is engaged and interested in your project and listening to what you want and not telling you what you want.
Know your budget, your time frame, and what you want. Contractors and their representatives are trained to look at your home and offer suggestions for best results. Common examples of upgrades might be changing metal or top mount vents to flush mount vents that sit in and become part of the floor; or perhaps if you are doing a color change you might want to consider updating your rail system as well. However, this is your home, your style, your budget and your decision.
If it is a priority to you, ask the contractor if they employees or will they be selling the project to a sub-contractor. If they tell you they hire employees, ask about their workman's compensation insurance and for a list of names of their employees. It's important that the crew members that work on your home have workman's comp. That protects the homeowners, business owners, and most importantly the employee in the event of an accident.
Ask to see a sample copy of the warranty. If a contractor is not offering a warranty on their workmanship that would be a cause for suspicion and request for more information as to why not.
Ask about their review policies and contract. There is a growing trend in which companies are including clauses in the contract that prohibit negative reviews, and if a negative review is given, the writer is subject to large settlements.
Check on-line reviews. Although reviews on Google are not verified, reviews on sites such as Home Advisor, Thumbtack and Angie's List are. Creations Hardwoods is a member of both Home Advisor and Thumbtack and we invite you to check our reviews, as well as our reviews on Google.
Request a certificate of liability for your project before the project begins.
We hope these tips help as you begin the journey to move ahead with your flooring project. If you would like to schedule a free estimate, please contact Creations Hardwoods at 719-360-2658.