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How to Pick a Good Contractor – Ten Step Selection Process

If you filled out the form for a free estimate, thank you, someone will get in touch with you shortly. We were shocked (well kinda) and embarrassed when we found out that contractors were America’s number 1 most complained about industry. When we sat back and thought about how we’ve been installing products in people’s houses for over 30 years, we thought, we must be doing something right, right? So here it is, what we feel makes A&A Services a good contractor should hold true for any respectable contractor howtoselectacontractor1. What To Look For: Stability: How long has the contractor you may want to hire been in business? If they have a lifetime warranty and have only been in business two years, you may want to reconsider. If the replacement windows you were promised to last 20 years only last 2 and they fail, what will your contractor do? The answer is nothing, if they do not show a track record of stable business. 2. What To Look For: Bank Letter: A bank letter will tell you two things. 1. The contractor has a bank. 2. Much more importantly, this letter will tell you if the contractor is in good financial standings and can actually be a really good sample of the character of the company. Bank Letters are usually more personal than supplier letters. 3. What To Look For: Supplier Letter: What’s in a Supplier Letter for a contractor? This lets you know if the contractor is in good standing with the manufacturer of his/her products, and that they pay their bills on time and are financially responsible. If your contractor is in trouble with the manufacturer it can often lead to bigger problems, like not being able to fulfill product warranties. License4. What To Look For: Business License:  To the right is a contractor license issued by the State of Massachusetts. Every state has licenses. There is a lot that goes into getting a license, and to keep one is even harder. Check the expiration of your prospective contractors license. Keep in mind that these cards and documents like insurance are often fakes. 5. What To Look For: Insurance: Like we were just saying, often times lesser contractors will falsify the paperwork for their insurance. An uninsured contractor can lead to blame and liability being placed on the homeowner themselves (that means you!). 6. What To Look For: Memberships: Almost any service provider has a membership with the Better Business Bureau. If the contractor your looking for isn’t at least part of the BBB, that should be a giant red flag right there. Even though just being on the BBB doesn’t mean you’re dealing with someone who’s perfect, it is a good start. awardwinningcontractors7. What To Look For: Awards: If a contractor has been in business for any length of time, he should have a stock pile of awards to throw at you, so which ones really matter? Awards given annually by respected organizations (like Angie’s List) represent consistency over a long period of time. Your prospective installer may have won awards that are long gone or irrelevant. A&A Services won an Angie’s List Super Service Award for Windows, Gutters, and Entry Doors in 2011, and will look to repeat that success in 2012. 8. What To Look For: Tangibles: Make sure you’re dealing with real people, and group of people who actually care about what they are doing. Our entire A&A Services team is pictured below (the author of this blog is third from the right.) If you trust a phony internet robot asking for all your information and promising the best windows possible, you’re not taking the best care of your home.contractorshowtopickagoodcontractor9. What To Look For: Workmanship: Lots of contractors talk about the best price, or the best product, or the best this or that, but often times in today’s modern world taking the time to do the job right is one of the hardest things to find in contracting. 10. What To Look For: Warranty: Don’t just look for a manufacturer’s warranty. If a contractor really stands behind their work they’ll have an independent warranty: like This One. So there you have it – why we think we’re a good contractor. If you want to hunt around and see what a good contractor’s website looks like, check it out. It is full of great home improvement tips, job examples, to do’s, reviews, and you can even sign up for a free estimate on almost any page in our site.free-in-home-estimate


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