The Benefits of a Hiring a Professional Contractor
As you can imagine, there are many benefits to hiring a reliable professional. First, your pond or outdoor living area won't be the victim of trial and error. Professional designers make your project look more natural and fit better with the surrounding landscape. You also have the assurance of knowing your project will be built by someone who has expertise and experience.
Now that you've decided to hire a professional, let's look at where to start.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring A CompanyA good contractor can mean the difference between an enjoyable or miserable water gardening experience. Do your homework and ask for references, and you won't go wrong.
IS YOUR BID AN ESTIMATE OR A FIXED PRICE?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Contracting businesses that have been in operation for many years have certainly worked through a lot of the growing pains that many companies deal with in their fledgling years.
Companies with experience have created systems and controls to ensure their work is on time, on budget and of the highest quality
Do your research ahead of time on any contractor you’re thinking of working with. If you find anything that makes you worry, ask about it. Ultimately, contractors prefer that you voice your concerns so they have an opportunity to address them rather than take them out of the running.
DO YOU CARRY WORKERS COMPENSATION & LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Contractors should have both workers’ compensation and liability insurance specifically for the type of job you are hiring them for. Having workers compensation and liability insurance ensures that you as the homeowner does not foot the bill should something unfortunate happen on your property happens that causes damage to your proerty or worse yet injury to a worker.
WHAT IS THE PAYMENT SCHEDULE?
The Better Business Bureau advises never paying for the full price of contracting work upfront, and a reputable contractor shouldn’t ask you to. But it’s important to discuss payment terms before construction begins, and be aware of exactly how much is due and when, perhaps by specific dates or based on completed stages of the project.
WILL I HAVE A DEDICATED TEAM WORKING ON MY JOB?
Many Contracting companies often work on multiple projects at a time, H2O Designs starts and completes jobs one customer at a time. We will never “Hop Jobs” on our customers. Be sure to ask these questions:
Will the same team be working on my home each day?
Who is the project manager, and what specifically will he oversee each day?
Do you work with subcontractors? If so, what have you done to properly qualify them, and are they covered by your liability and worker’s compensation insurance?
How often will the business owner check in on the progress of the project?
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORK DAY LIKE?
It’s important for both homeowners and contractors to know what to expect on construction days before work begins, even if you don’t plan on being home while the work is being done. The targeted questions you’ll want to ask include:
What are the approximate start and end times for construction day(s)?
Do I need to remove any items that are in or near work areas?
What will the noise level be like?
Do you need me to be home at any point during the day?
You should also advise your contractor on key information about the project prior to your start date:
The parking situation in your neighborhood
Which restrooms, if any, are available for use
Where available power outlets are located
Who, if anyone, will be home during construction (including pets)
HOW WILL YOU CLEAN UP AT THE END OF THE DAY?
A quality contractor will make sure that end-of-day clean-up is always taken care of by his crew, whether the project lasts one day or spans several weeks. Establish that he will remove trash (and learn where it will be disposed of), pick up stray items like pavers, rocks, etc.
HOW AND WHERE WILL TOOLS AND MATERIALS BE STORED?
Part of keeping a clean, clutter-free workspace once the team has left for the day includes putting tools away. If they have large pieces of equipment they plan on storing in your home every evening, be sure to discuss where they will be kept and how they will be transported there.
HOW WILL ADDITIONAL CHARGES BE DEALT WITH?
H2O Designs will provide a detailed scope of work with all project quotes that details the work to be done. Occasionally changes are requested that are not covered under the original scope of work. If this is the case we will provide a project change order that details the change requested along with a detailed cost for the changes to be approved by the homeowner.
IS THERE A WARRANTY FOR YOUR SERVICE AND FOR THE MATERIALS ?
H2O Designs uses only the highest quality products and installation supplies available. All projects are installed with industry leading techniques to ensure a quality project that will last a lifetime. We are proud to offer the most extensive & comprehensive warranties in our industry.
Product Warranties – H2O Designs Inc. honors all manufacturers’ warranties for products installed by H2O Designs.
1 Year “Blanket” Guarantee– H2O Designs Inc. offers a 1 year full guarantee on all components and workmanship. This guarantee covers any product and labor costs to replace any product that may be found defective.
CAN YOU PROVIDE US A LIST OF REFERENCES AND PROJECTS EXAMPLES?
Past clients are the most appropriate people to talk to because they’ve already experienced what you are potentially about to undertake. Ask them very candid and specific questions. Ask about the quality of work, budget, timeliness, cleanliness, safety, level of professionalism and if their goals and expectations were met.
Certified Aquascape Contractors are the most qualified and informed pond installers in the water gardening industry. All CACs are required to attend continual training and education seminars and maintain a proven record of outstanding work and dedicated customer service and support.
Accept No Imitations or Substitutes”
ICPI Certified – The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) is a professional association that develops and disseminates technical information for design professionals and contractors in the interlocking concrete paving industry. The ICPI offers certification and designation programs to advance the segmental concrete pavement industry through education and industry guidelines. A quality installer will invest their time and resources to become certified and obtain designations in order to provide higher quality and more sustainable installations.