How To Select a Home Contractor
You want your project to come in on time, on budget, and to deliver the aesthetic look and functionality you crave. Is that too much to ask for? We don’t think so. However, finding a home contractor that consistently delivers professional work and services is not easy. If it was, we would not need review websites like Angie’s List and Service Magic to sort out the good ones from the bad apples.We believe the photos on our website, our 12,000 satisfied customers, the countless glowing customer reviews on the Internet, and the awards we have won make it pretty clear that we are a great home improvement company—if not the best in Northern Virginia. If you want to experience the Prince William difference first hand, schedule a free, in-home design consultation with one of our expert staff members. Custom designs of your project are created right in your home using state of the art 3D software.If you are looking at different options, below you will find few factors that you should consider when you are evaluating home improvement contractors.
HOW BIG IS YOUR COMPANY?
Bigger is not always better. However, in the home contracting business working with a company that has a good size staff can make a huge difference in not only the quality of the work, but the customer service it is able to provide. How well can a small company with a beat up truck and a few scruffy sub-contractors really take care of you? While small contractors might be okay for a quick fix or tiny project, they typically have far less to offer in terms of purchasing power, financing options, and the ability to provide timely repairs and customer service. For serious projects, pick a serious company.
Prince William is one of the largest home contractors in the country. We have grown larger over the past 24 years, because we do such a fantastic job for our customers. Read more about our dedicated customer service department—a luxury you won’t find with smaller companies.
HOW LONG HAS YOUR COMPANY BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Many people believe starting a home contracting business is easy. Purchase a truck and few tools and off you go. However, staying in the home contracting business takes tremendous dedication. There are numerous local, state, and federal regulations to follow. Also, developing teams and processes to consistently deliver projects on time, on budget, and with satisfactory craftsmanship is no easy task. Just ask the hundreds of contractors that were in business for a few short years only to burn out and fade away.
While every company has to start somewhere, the last thing you want to do is be the guinea pig for a new company. History shows that new companies often vaporize before your project is complete. Let others take the risk on startups and help them build their reputations. Make the smart move and go with an established company with a proven track record.
Prince William has been exceeding our customers’ expectations for over 24 years. We have been able to stick around and prosper, because we do things the right way and have the resources to run a professional business. You can rest assured that we are not going anywhere.
WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCTS DO THEY USE?
Buying insurance is one of those things in life that we all dislike but know we need to do. Working with a home contractor that uses quality materials is sort of like buying insurance. It might cost a bit more up front, but it actually costs far less in the long run. Many of our projects come from customers who tried to save a bit of money by going with a low-cost option, only to find out that the work needs to be completely redone a few years later. In the end, they end up spending considerably more money than if they simply did the job right the first time.
Prince William is certainly not the cheapest option. However, our pricing is not exorbitantly high either. The bottom line is that PW’s projects are done right the first time, using products that offer superior quality AND superior value. Using quality products reduces the total cost of ownership over the life time of your home. If you take a longer view, you end up spending LESS money and have far fewer headaches by spending a bit more on the front end. That’s the kind of insurance that feels good. Take your medicine. It’s good for you.
CHECK ONLINE REVIEWS TO SEE THEIR TRACK RECORDS?
If you can’t find reviews of a contractor online, that alone tells you something about their business. Lack of reviews indicates they are either small, new, or an unprofessional operation that you want to stay away from (see comments above). Obviously, finding lots of negative reviews about a contractor tells you all you need to know.
Prince William has loads of flattering reviews online and we encourage you to check them out. You can see a few of our ratings by visiting this link: http://www.insiderpages.com/b/15244923657
There are a few negative comments out there as well. However, you will notice that any negative comments we find online are addressed as quickly as possible. That’s right. We care so much about our work and our reputation that we spend the time to monitor the internet and search out customers who have a problem and do our best to remedy the situation. We are great at what we do–award winning in fact. But, we are not perfect, and from time to time issues do arise. The difference between Prince William and just about any other contractor in Northern Virginia is that PW has the staff and the intention to make every project perfect in the end.
HAVE THEY WON ANY AWARDS?
Finding a contractor that has been recognized as outstanding by independent third parties can certainly help you weed out the fly-by-night operations from the professional organizations worth your time and hard earned money. You can view our awards here.
DO THEY OFFER FINANCING?
Offering financing is not only convenient for customers, it says a lot about the contractor too. You see, contractors have to pass rigorous screening for the financing companies to allow them to offer financing to their customers in the first place. Even if you don’t need financing, contractors that do not offer financing are probably not the type of companies you want to work with. For more details on this little know aspect of the home improvement industry, check out the information on our financing page.
ASK THY NEIGHBORS
Happy customers are always a good source of information. If you have neighbors that have hired home contractors in the area, asking their advice is a great idea. Since PW has serviced more than 12,000 customers in Northern Virginia, chances are a happy PW customer is living right next door to you.
ARE THEY LICENSED AND PROPERLY INSURED?
You hear companies talk about being licensed an insured in their advertisements all the time. Don’t take it for granted. Did you know that only 15% of contractors have the appropriate business and contractor licenses?
Also, did you know that if the contractor you select is not properly insured, you are responsible for their workers injuries and medical expenses if they get hurt on your property? If you don’t work with a reputable company, you could open yourself up to serious liability. Suddenly that little bathroom remodel could become a lot more expensive than you ever imagined.
PW carries $3,000,000 in liability insurance and carries full workers’ comp insurance. When you work with us, you can rest assured that we are fully licenses and you are fully protected.
Also, new federal regulations require all homes built prior to 1978 to be worked on only by EPA Certified Renovators. Certification is extremely rigorous, and very few contractors have achieved this level of certification. All Prince William installers are EPA Certified by the federal government and we follow the strict, special procedures mandated by the government when projects are preformed in older homes.