Once you’ve decided you’re installing an outdoor screen enclosure, how do you know who to hire for the job? If you take the time and do your due diligence before you get started, you can feel confident about the money spent installing your new outdoor screen enclosure. We’ve got a list of questions that you can go by to help guide you through the process.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Are they licensed and insured?
It just makes good sense to verify that the company you choose to work with is licensed and insured. Surprisingly, lots of people don’t though—don’t be one of them. It’s not a wise decision because if something happens, such as someone is injured on your property during the building process or if damage occurs, you’re apt to find yourself held liable for it.
Advances in all types of technology have made it easier for someone who is planning on taking advantage of others to do so. Professional-looking websites, phony licenses, and fake proof of insurance certificates can easily mislead you. It’s important to affirm for yourself that the company is the real deal.
Florida cracked down hard on contractors by creating stricter building codes after Hurricane Andrew tore through the state back in August 1992. It carved out a path of destruction from one side of Florida to the other. Moreover, inspectors determined that a large portion of the damage was due to shoddy workmanship—and rightly so! Pushing for new regulations on what’s allowed and what’s not has made a difference. Another thing that Floridians have at their disposal is popping over to the site, MyFloridaLicense.com. You’ll be able to check and see if the company is truly on the up and up.
In addition to having a valid business license, patio and pool screen enclosure companies should carry both liability and workers’ compensation. If asked, the company should provide you with proof of insurance which you can then validate yourself.
The company spokesperson should be qualified to answer any questions that you have about credentials, qualifications, and their processes.
Around here, we consider word of mouth to be the best source of advertising—and not just because it’s free! A company that has built a solid reputation shouldn’t hesitate to provide you with references from satisfied customers. The Better Business Bureau is another great resource. Take time to verify that the companies you’re considering hiring have brick-and-mortar offices. You may also be able to see some of their completed work for yourself.
Should you hire a local company?
There are three main reasons for hiring a local company and they are:
• It supports your area’s economy.
• It makes it easier to choose a company when you can actually see people from your area leaving positive reviews.
• Lastly, local companies are likely familiar with the building codes that govern your area.
Companies that aren’t from your area may not be aware of any additional building requirements set by local municipalities. Having this information protects you and your investment.
Do they use quality materials?
You want to have the best results at the end of the project. Making sure that the screen enclosure company you choose to work with only uses the best building materials is an important detail as well. That’s because no matter how great your new patio enclosure looks, you still won’t get the best results using less than top-quality building materials.
For instance, many companies choose to use Phifer screens because they’re nothing short of the best. Seriously. They are the #1 screen manufacturing company in the world.
Were you provided with a written estimate?
A thorough estimate includes more than just the final cost. The list breaking down the cost of your project should include:
• Project specs
• Description of services
• Additional installation items
• Timeline of completion
• Your payment schedule
• Warranty information
Failure to provide you with this information is a sure sign that you don’t want to be doing business with that company.
Will they provide you with a schedule?
Of course, your projected finish date may not be exact. Things, like weather, for instance, come into play. Still, you should be provided with a schedule. If your contractor or company representative can’t give you an approximate date of completion, don’t agree to do business with them.
Obtaining necessary permits can slow the process down considerably, at times. Your contractor should discuss whether or not you need to acquire permits. Moreover, he should make it clear who is responsible for securing the permits. Once permitting is approved, your contractor should let you know they’re approved and when to expect the crew to show up at your home.
Which is the best choice for you?
If you follow these steps, you will be confident that you’re making the right choice when deciding which company to work with. The more information that you obtain about the company, the easier it is to filter out the companies that don’t meet your standards.
Most companies will be glad to come out and provide a free estimate so it’s a good idea to narrow your choices down to two or three and then have them come out so you can compare before making your final decision.
After making your choice, it’s time to start imagining how you’ll enhance your new space! Unless you have plenty of room for storage, though, it’s probably a good idea to wait to start shopping. Besides, at this time of year, the longer you wait, the cheaper the prices! Manufacturers go by the typical “shopping calendar” and that means things go on sale after Labor Day even though we’re outdoors all year long!
This may be the perfect time of the year to install your outdoor patio enclosure. What are you waiting for?