You’ve just hung up the phone after finding out that your contractor has filed for bankruptcy protection and is closing shop.
Great. Now what?
This scene plays out countless numbers of times every day across the country. A random Yellow Pages survey of Northwest Houston contractors alone revealed that out of 32 listings from 2009, 19 home remodeling contractors either failed to answer the phone, had numbers that were no longer in service, or now belonged to a different company entirely.
A whopping 60% of companies listed were gone. Out of business. Toast.
This story is not new. Almost every homeowner has had a personal “disappearing contractor” experience, or knows someone who has. But fear not. There are ways to shield yourself from financial ruin when hiring someone to remodel your bathroom.
The 3 Most Important Questions You’ll Ever Ask Your Next Contractor
1. Are you bonded?
Asking this important question will ensure that if your contractor fails to complete the job you’ve hired him to do, the bonding company will pay to have someone complete the work in his place. Another type of coverage is “umbrella insurance”; which will cover the costs to complete the job in case the company files for bankruptcy or shuts its doors.
2. Do you belong to the Better Business Bureau?
The Better Business Bureau has high accreditation standards for business members. They include (but are not limited to):
- Length of time in business
- Fulfilment of proper licensing required by local, state & federal agencies
- Compliance with BBB arbitration decisions
- Adherence to established BBB standards of marketing and advertising
Warning: Be sure that the company’s BBB membership is in good standing and check their rating & history. Some shady contractors have been known to post misleading marketing slogans such as “BBB Award Winners for 10 Years in a Row” although they may not be a genuine BBB accredited business.
3. Why is your quote so low?
Cheap bathroom remodeling contractors – those who routinely bid jobs substantially lower than their competitors – aren’t necessarily the most stable financially. This should raise all kinds of red flags. Remember, low cost labor will always come at a price. That price could be indicative of shoddy workmanship, poor materials, sub-contracted labor with shallow skills or a contractor who may take your check and run. Do your homework and plan to pay a professional what they’re worth to do a quality job with the best materials available.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection offers detailed information on how to protect yourself when hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor. Taking time to do your research before you start the process of getting work bids will make you a more confident consumer and save you trouble down the road.
Rebath has been in the bathroom remodeling business for almost 32 years. When you call us, you’ll have the assurance of dealing with a professional remodeling company that’s been around for over 3 decades. We are BBB 2010 Gold Star Members and carry an A+ rating. We have a team of licensed and trained installers who will treat your home as if it’s their own; we don’t sub-contract any of our work. We will be there from start to finish.