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Things to Consider When Hiring a Flooring Contractor
http://knoxvilleflooring.netGetting a new floor installed is a major home improvement.  While it is possible sometimes to do the job yourself, if you are bringing a contractor to install your new flooring, you want to find someone who knows what they are doing, who comes prepared to do the job and who will give you a fair deal.  For many of us, talking to a flooring contractor is a new experience.  So it helps if we find ways to sort out the best contractors the way that commercial flooring contractors are often selected .

Like talking to any technical professional, we have to find ways to make sure we are getting the right contractor even though the field of expertise is foreign to us.  Here are a few tips to help you find a contractor you can have confidence in.

Understand What the Contractor is Offering

Some contractors will come to you with a "turn key" proposal.  That means that the contractor will provide the materials, the flooring, the labor and everything that is needed for one neat price.  If you are getting that kind of proposition, it is up to you to know if the price they are quoting for materials is fair.   

The first thing to do to make sure that you are getting a good deal in a turn key proposal is make sure the bid is itemized so you know what you are being charged for materials.  Flooring costs vary widely and if you do your own research into the market for the flooring you want, you can confirm if you are being offered a fair deal for the flooring itself.  If anything, the contractor should offer you costs that are below market value because he should be able to buy wholesale.  If he is passing that savings onto you, that is a proposal worth considering.

Consider Specialized Skills

Take into account if you are hiring a contractor who is specializes in a specific kind of flooring. If you are having hardwood floors put in, the skills to do a professional job at that kind of flooring are specialized.  So to make sure you are getting the best in that line of flooring installation, you may need to hire a contractor who makes his living installing hardwood floors only.  The cost for a specialist is always higher but better to pay a little more to get a great job done than to cut costs and be disappointed with the outcome.

Also consider the reputation of the contractor and the support before and after the sale. Flooring contractors build their businesses by word of mouth which means they can only get more business if you are happy.  Don't be afraid to ask if that contractor will be there for you a month or a year after the job is done if you need some help with the flooring. A good contractor stands behind his work indefinitely.

Participate in the Plan

We have to assume that most contractors are honest business  people who would not cheat you.  But the more you are part of the planning of the project, the less temptation you put in the path of an independent contractor whose first motivation is to make a profit on the work he does.  Before you have the contractor come out to bid on the job, measure the job yourself.  Your measurements should line up with the ones on the bid with a little room for variation or error.  Ask questions and know every aspect of that bid including the hourly wage being paid to the contractors employees.  If he knows you are paying attention, he will work to make sure he bid is an honest one.

Play Them Off of Each Other

Don't just talk to one flooring contractor.  If there are 30 flooring installers in town, do some up front work to narrow the candidate list down to the top 5 or the top 3.  Then have each of the best flooring contractor candidate companies come out and make a bid.  Let each contractor know they are competing for the bid. That will make them work harder to justify the costs that are being put in the proposal.  Competition is the heart of why our economy works.  So use it to get the best contractor for the best price possible.

Work Your Network

Last but not least, ask your friends and associates who did a great job for them.  If you are having a floor put in that is very similar to a neighbors, don’t be afraid to call them up and get a recommendation.  People love to recommend a good contractor when they find one or to warn you away from a bad one.  

Also ask the contractors who are on the short list for references.  Then check those references and even go and inspect the work of the contractor.  There is no better way to find out if a contractor is the best than the recommendations of satisfied customers.  If you work the network to find out if the finalist for your flooring contract is a good one and you were an active participant in the process, when that contractor pulls up to install your flooring, you will have a good feeling inside that you hired the right man for the job.


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