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Hiring Professionals

Hiring Professionals
by Ray Croskrey

If you're thinking about hiring professionals to do specific jobs around the house, (landscaping, painting, window cleaning, roofing, paving, carpet installation, etc.) here are some tips that will help.
Make sure you know what to look for when hiring professionals. As a rule of thumb, interview at least 3 separate individuals, and get no less than 3 different price quotes for each project.
Below is a list of interview questions that you can ask before hiring professionals.
- How many years of experience does the person doing the job have?
- How long has the company or individual been in business?
- Does the company or individual carry workers comp and liability insurance? (request a copy of their up to date policies)
- Does the company have its own employee's or do they send out sub-contractors?
- Does the company or individuals belong to a reputable trade organization?
- Will they supply a list of references?
- Do they give free estimates?
- What are the billing stipulations?
- Will they provide a complete written contract?
After the interview, do an evaluation.
- If you left a message, how soon did they call you back?
- Were they courteous and professional on the phone?
- Did they make you feel comfortable and answer all your questions?
- Did they give you additional ideas and information that might save you money?
Now that you've made your choice and all the details are worked out, get it all in writing. Make sure that the contract states the exact prices, job completion times and payment procedures. It is not unusual for people to end up in court because there is no clear cut written contract.
- If any money is required to start, do not pay more than half of the total bill upfront.
- Make sure that any changes to the original contract will have to be approved by you first - get it in writing.
- Once the job has been completed, inspect it yourself. If the terms of the contract have been met, and you are completely satisfied, pay the remaining balance.
Product or Service Tips:
- Again, interview three separate individuals that have no profitable interest in what you are planning to do. Do not get all your information and advice from a salesperson. They need to make money and sometimes will tell you everything you want to hear.
- Speak to the industry professionals that actually do the work and provide servicing or routine maintenance for that specific product or service. You will learn valuable inside information on what works and what doesn't. You will also learn tips about how to save money and what kind of unexpected costs might arise in the future.

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