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Check to see if a contractor is legal:

 

Selecting a Quality Siding and Window Company

Are they legal?
What do I mean by legal?
Why is this important?
How do I check to see if a contractor or company is "legal?"
References, References, References!
Get it in writing!
Know who you are dealing with!
Does price = value?
What's your "gut" tell you?

Are they legal? It's amazing but, there are a number of companies out there who are not legal.
What do I mean by legal? Licensed, bonded & insured (if required by state.)

Why is this important?

LICENSED - says a company is registered to perform certain types of work and only those types of work; for example, siding - wood & other, window installation, etc. A license also gives you a reference # that must be included on ALL advertising. You as a consumer can check up on a contractor's license # to see if they are current, legal, or have complaints against them and all sorts of great information.

BONDED - A bonded company has secured funds (controlled by the state) that are available for consumer's claims against the company. This money is directly available to you for various reasons as controlled by a state agency.

INSURED - If the unspeakable happens, it's important that the contractor or company has insurance. In some cases, such as an injury: you as a home owner could be held liable - if the company has no insurance.

How do I check to see if a contractor or company is "legal?" Follow the appropriate link (above left) to check out any company's registration number. Be sure to check if the company: is licensed, bonded, insured, legal to have subcontractors, current on payments, has any claims or complaints against them and anything else you can think of. By all means don't be shy, you pay for this state service - you're not being paranoid, just smart!
References, References, References! Ask for references, a good company will have a reference list on hand or will promptly get them to you. Check their references out - a reference unchecked is useless! Go see the type of work they are likely to do on your house. Ask their past customers what their experience was like working with this company. Selecting a quality siding and window company makes all the difference in the world.
Get it in writing! Contracts are legally binding and enforceable, a song and dance isn't. Some salesmen are great performers and we want to believe them, but don't be fooled - if it's not in writing DO NOT expect to get it!
Know who you are dealing with! Where do shady people hang out? In the shadows. If the owners don't want you to know who they are, start asking questions. If someone is afraid to show his/her face, there's usually a reason why. Know who your dealing with!
Does price = value? Not usually! There are companies that charge 2 to 3 times what most companies charge for some products and services. Do you think they are providing a 2 to 3 times better job than most provide? Absolutely not! In most cases these "high priced" companies don't even offer "as good" of products and services as most offer - although they would like you to think they do. Opinions are one thing, but facts are facts. So, why pay more? As far as paying significantly less than the average, I have a quote from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries web site titled "Hiring a Contractor or Remodeler" it says, "Bids that are significantly lower than all others should be questioned." You should really check out low bids. It costs a considerable amount of money to be in business and those costs exist in all "legal" businesses. Low bids should be suspected of being "illegal companies" or "fly by night" (meaning companies that receive down payments and skip town or never finish the work.)  
What's your "gut" tell you? Gut feelings should never be ignored. You should check out all potential companies as I've stated above, but if everything checks out, and you still don't have a good feeling about a particular company - maybe that's not the right company for you.

Thanks for reading this document - I hope it will help you in selecting a "Quality Siding and Window Company" As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us!

sincerely,

Robert J. Bury
Siding4u.com

   

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