Having your home retrofitted with stucco is more than just a physical change to an inanimate object, it’s trusting another human being to fulfill their end of an agreement and keep your best interests at heart when modifying your largest asset. The contractor will in all likelihood be at your house even when you’re not around until the project is completed, so trusting them to be respectful of your property and privacy is a must. That’s why you need to trust your gut when hiring a contractor, as much as you need to do your due diligence. At the very least, you should be checking in with previously completed projects, the manufacturer who supplies their materials and their business history.
Get the name of one or two previous customers you can call. Ask about how well the contractor did his job – but also how attentive he was to their specific needs and requests. Did they avoid working in the evenings when their kids were home from school? Was scrap material and junk left on their property after the job was completed or was it cleaned? Were the workers loud, vulgar and abrasive or cooperative? Did they actually show up when they said they would or were they frequently absent?
Call the manufacturer whose material they specified on your home. Does the manufacturer know about them? Is it a good thing the manufacturer knows about them? It’s not uncommon for contractors to be behind on their payments to their supplier, and knowing about about money that is potentially owed by the contractor can help you avoid problems near the end of the project. Make sure that the manufacturer backs the contractor and whether any special conditions need to be met to get your warranty.
Don’t forget to do some background research on the manufacturer themselves, since not all of them are equal in terms of price and quality. Reputable manufacturers such as DuROCK are listed on the EIFSCouncil’s Manufacturer List and ensures that they follow the industry’s quality guidelines.
Ask for their Business Liability Insurance and a Business Number. These are the basics of what is required to operate a contracting business, and larger contractors are required to have Fall Safety Training for each employee as well as Workers’ Compensation on commercial projects. The Business Number shows that they are in fact a registered business and the Business Liability Insurance can protect your home or your neighbours if any damage is caused through the contractor’s own fault.
While there is no step-by-step guideline that can cover every possible event that can happen during a home renovation, following the previous suggestions can help reduce the chances of something going wrong because of a contractor who talks a good game but can’t follow through. Knowing that the contractor has previous clients who are happy, is fully licensed and is in good standing with their supplier goes a long way towards helping you sleep at night. Follow your instincts while performing the background checks and don’t be afraid to ask questions.