Experience Completing Similar Projects
When looking for contractors to install a patio cover the main thing you need to look out for is the contractor’s familiarity with the material and patio you are using. There are a few ways you can do this.
If they have a website or social media account you may be able to see if they have done similar projects before, and they will usually have pictures of how it has turned out. If you can’t find any proof that they are familiar with the material, simply ask them if they have installed patio covers with that material in the past. If they have, ask if they can provide a photograph of the finished product.
Positive Reviews and Experience
The best way to choose a contractor to repair/build/install a patio cover is to do your research. Look for companies that have been in business for several years, have positive reviews from previous customers, and are licensed and insured.
You should also make sure that the company has experience with your type of project. If you’re building a new patio cover, the contractors must be experienced in building brand-new covers. If you’re repairing an existing patio cover, they must have experience doing so.
Finally, you should look for companies with a good track record for customer service. A good contractor will answer all of your questions quickly and honestly and will address any concerns or issues quickly as well.
Bill Samuel is a full-time residential real estate developer at Blue Ladder Development.
Look For a Registered Contractor in Your Local Building Department Listing
You should get at least three quotes to check the price but also find the right person. Ask your local building department if they have a current list of registered contractors which will provide companies that have the appropriate licensure and insurance to perform the work
Spend the time clearly documenting everything in a formal agreement that will be signed by both parties before any work is started. A quote should have a detailed scope of work (specifying who obtains permits and materials in addition to work to be performed), work warranty information, work completion time, company contact information, price, and payment schedule.
Use an objective system to evaluate each contractor to help find a reliable person. (e.g. did they show up for the site visit on time, did they send you the bid when they said they would, etc). I would always recommend visiting a few of the sites the contractor is currently working at to see what their work looks like (ideally you would visit a few projects that are at different stages of completion with one being recently completed).
Four Key Points to Verify
When choosing a contractor for a patio cover project, some key items to look for are:
● Have they done this type of work before? Can they show you photos of previous patio cover projects they’ve completed?
● What materials are they proposing to use? Do the material choices make sense to you? If not, ask to see a sample of the materials (such as polycarbonate patio cover panels).
● A big area of concern for patio covers is how they will hold up under high winds. What steps is the contractor taking to ensure the patio is sturdy and secure?
● What warranty is being offered on the patio cover work?
Get a Detailed Estimate from a Licensed and Insured Contractor
When choosing a contractor to repair or install a patio cover, certain things must be considered to guarantee a successful outcome. The first thing is to ensure the contractor is licensed and insured. Their expertise matters as much as their ability to complete the job without incident.
Accordingly, the contractor must have experience repairing or installing patio covers. This can easily be accomplished by asking for referrals from friends or family who have had work done recently to get an idea of the contractor’s quality of work and customer service. You may also consider checking online reviews.
Once you’ve identified some potential contractors, get written estimates from each one. These estimations should detail the scope of work to be done, the materials used, and the estimated labor cost. Then, compare their prices to ensure you get the best value for your money.
When it comes to the actual repair or installation, ask about the warranty offered by the contractor. Warranties will protect you if anything goes wrong with the workmanship after the job is completed.
Finally, inspect the patio cover thoroughly before making the final payment to ensure it is up to your standards. If something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to ask the contractor to make the necessary changes.
Budget, Credentials, and Reviews
I look for three things in a contractor.. First, I look at the budget, what they include, and if they’re hourly or a lump sum for the project. Second thing, I look at the credentials, since there are a lot of contractors out there who know how to repair certain patio issues, but not everything. Third, I look for reviews. There are a lot who look good on paper, but when I looked at the reviews, I immediately threw away that option because I learned they took too long or were unprofessional.
Three Tips for Finding a Great Contrator
Patio covers tend to be unique products. When you’re choosing a contractor for a patio cover, you’re also choosing what kind of cover to get. With this in mind, it’s best to focus your efforts on choosing the right patio cover for your circumstances first and foremost.
When you do get around to choosing a contractor, I have a few general guidelines:
1) Always get at least three bids on any project.
Contractors have the information advantage in most of these transactions, so doing your research and getting multiple estimates will keep you from getting gouged on price.
2) Good communicators are worth it almost every time.
While there is certainly a price point at which I would go with a less-responsive contractor, having someone who will quickly get back to you, answer your questions, and be clear and informative is worth quite a lot.
3) Ask your friends for referrals.
They’re likely to have direct experience of the whole process with a given contractor, and many contractors love getting these word-of-mouth referrals and will likely treat you well if they know that’s how you picked them.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.