A little groundwork up front can save you plenty in the long run

 

In a market where you can get a quote to have your toilet installed for anywhere between $35.00 and $250.00 (we survey big companies and "handymen" all the time), it's hard to know when you are paying too much, and maybe even harder to know if the job was done properly. So how do you decide?

 

Choose a well established company that has a good reputation.

They got their reputation by doing good work, and they want to protect that reputation by doing good work for you. If they are well established they should be around in the future in case something goes wrong with the work that was done. (By law the work done is warranted for 12 months and in some cases longer.) We have been serving Contra Costa and Alameda Counties since 1998.

 

Choose a licensed contractor

It is not easy to get a license. So those who do, have the skills, experience and dedication to do the job correctly. If you run into a problem, the mere possibility of a complaint to the State will usually get things resolved promptly. Check their insurance. Liability insurance is essential in case something really gets out of hand. Workers compensation is required by law to cover any employee of a contractor. If there is none, then you are liable for injuries that occur to workers working on your home. We are b oth licensed and insured.

Ask for references.
Any well established company should be able to provide you with relevant references immediately. Call them!
We have plenty of references; most likely from some of your neighbors.


Make sure that you get it in writing
Make sure there is a written contract that clearly documents what is to be done (in detail), and when it is to be done by. Make it clear that nothing is going to happen until you are satisfied with the contract, and don't be afraid to be picky. Make sure any change orders are put in writing as well. The first thing we provide you is a written proposal with the price.


Do not pay more than 10% of the contract price up front
By law no more than 10% of the contract price can be charged as a down payment to a maximum of $1,000.00. If large amounts of material are required, make sure that they are included in the contract and do not pay out money up front for their purchase. We only ask for a down payment to reserve your spot in our work schedule if you are not having the work started immediately.

Do not pay for any  of the work until it has been completed to your satisfaction
The payment schedule (if any) must be tied directly to the completion of specific portions of the work ($XXX upon completing the installation of the tile in the bathroom) and not a date or "percentage of the job."

Stay involved

While it is not helpful to be looking over the Craftsman's shoulder while he is at work, you should plan on reviewing the work with the Craftsman periodically and in detail before making any payments.