Concerned about getting the right contractor for your home? You have a lot of company. The Consumer Federation of America discovered that “home improvement contractors and repairmen jumped to the #2 complaint category in their 2022 complaint survey.” The reasons were clear: “Many consumers complained of shoddy and incomplete home repair work performed by individuals without the proper licensure or expertise.”

On top of all that, people faced difficulties getting the mistakes repaired or having their money returned.

Instead of succumbing to similar pitfalls, approach your next project with a sense of curiosity about the details and process involved in any repairs and replacements. Asking questions and visiting showrooms can go a long way in protecting yourself from unfortunate experiences with contractors.

1. Lack of a Contract That Includes Work Schedules and Other Key Information

It can be tempting to hire someone off the books who seems to know their stuff. Maybe they do! However, the more money you’re spending, the bigger a risk you’re taking by partnering with someone without a real contract in place. Going online to check out examples of contracts can help folks become more familiar with the lingo in construction contracts. This might include:

Just because a contract has been drawn up doesn’t mean you have to sign it. If anything seems fishy or you don’t understand something, clarify those things and only sign on once you’re fully comfortable with the agreement. 

2. Neglecting to Discuss the Details, Including Repair & Replacement Costs

When it comes to home projects, the devil is always in the details. Ask for itemized quotes when possible, and be sure you know what you’re paying for and how much of that is subject to change. Some consumers are surprised at the lack of cost information in the final invoice, even if it comes with a fair amount of description. This mistake can be avoided by asking questions upfront, getting a rough estimate, and finding out what details will impact the total project cost once it’s finished. 

3. Not Staying in Touch with Your Contractor

Keep in mind that costs are often predicated on details unique to your home that can range from the pitch of a roof to the quality of wood aging around a door frame. Contractors don’t always have a full picture when starting out. And many of those details are not discernible at first glance. Stay in touch with your contractor regarding changes that come up along the way so you are aware of any changes that might be needed, as well as whether the final cost will be impacted. 

4. Using Subpar Materials or Inferior Windows and Doors to Cut Corners

This mistake cannot be overstated. It is simply not worth it to save money by using subpar materials. The lifespan of a window can be as low as fifteen years for some parts of the window and up to fifty years for others. 

Harris Exteriors is all too aware of the inferior materials and products on the market that don’t stand the test of time – or Midwestern weather – and end up costing homeowners in the long run. A seasoned contractor with a diversity of experience can tell you about the pros and cons of different brand name items and why one might be recommended over another. We only use durable, high-quality materials that we trust. OWEN CORNING, GAF for your ROOFINGYou can choose Sierra Pacific, ANDERSEN, ALSIDE WINDOWS for your replacement windows, Therma TRU for your Entry doors, Mastic for your Vinyl siding, and LP SmartSide for your Wood Siding. It’s your choice!

5. Lack of Proper Expertise & Accreditations 

A contracting company worth its salt should be able to back up its claims of expertise. There are many ways to do this. The more experienced businesses will generally present some combination of industry affiliations

  1. Industry Certifications & Accreditations
  2. Necessary Licensing 
  3. Surety Bonds & Permits
  4. High Business Ratings
  5. Proper Insurance Coverage
  6. Member Affiliations like HOA Affiliations
  7. Client Recommendations

Harris Exteriors comes with all the proper licensing and industry accreditations. Our member affiliations include NARI, CAI, CAA, and ACTHA. In addition, our Unlimited Roofing License means our business “includes roofing on residential, commercial and industrial properties.” If you need a roof replaced, we can handle it no matter the building type.

Harris Exteriors Has History of Building Good Relationships with Customers 

One other thing about that survey mentioned above. The contractors in question weren’t building solid relationships with the homeowners who hired them. In contrast, Harris works closely with customers so they get just what they need. That’s why our past clients have so many good things to say about the work we have done on their homes.

Contact us to set up a consultation to learn more about what makes our contracting services some of the best around.

A person working on a window.