has 10 Tips to Help Lower Your #Risks of Working with #Professional #Flooring and #Tile #Installers

We have already written about some of the challenges in finding a top installer;  the good news is that there are many quality professionals out there looking for your business.  Whether you find your next contractor on, or through a different referral, here are a few tips to help ensure your project goes smoothly.

1.  Ensure your contractor is licensed:   Professional contractors completing work over $500 in value must be licensed in most states and provinces.   There are state laws enforcing licensing to promote fair business practices, protect consumers and set a level playing field for licensed work.

2.  Shortlist at least 3 installers and use the interview process to determine if they are professional, courteous, on-time and organized.

3.  Get their bond number and issuer – Licensed companies are usually bonded (ie in California – for $12,500 minimum) to ensure that they can cover potential financial issues that arise from incomplete work, errors or issues by their subcontractor or product issues.  A bond is like financial insurance policy on which with installer will pay monthly premiums to keep current.  If there are problems with the installation, you can make a claim directly with the issuer (usually a ‘surety’ company).

4.  Get your installers warranty on their work in writing – product warranty could be voided if your installer made an obvious installation error.  You could be liable for the replacing the materials and re-doing the installation if your installer won’t back their work.

5.  Be weary of new businesses – licensed installers have business addresses registered with state licensing offices.  You can usually see how long a company has been registered and ensure that they aren’t a  hasn’t been newly created to mask some negative reviews or poor business dealing in their past.

6.  Payment terms and conditions – Never pay more than 10% down or $1000 (which ever is less) and set up milestone payments that encourage work to be completed on time.  Clearly outline what the impact is if your installer misses deadlines.

7.  If the contractor orders supplies on your behalf, don’t pay for any materials until they have arrived on your property or the contractor can provide you with Tracking details.   Don’t let the contractor order your materials to their shop as you don’t really take ownership of them until they are received on your property.   You can order your own materials to lower your risk too.

8.  Contract Validity – a contract with an unlicensed installer (over the local – usually $500 – threshold) is harder to enforce.  Most states actually do not require the homeowner to pay for services rendered by illegally operating contractor.  This might seem like a path to a good deal, but you will also have a harder time getting any recourse if your installer made any errors during your installation.  Consult local legal advice if you have further questions regarding contracts.

9.  Business Validity - to lower your risks, seek to partner with companies that have been in business for more than 3 years, have photo’s of their work, have strong references and that work to earn your trust.  Note that if you are not working with an incorporated company, you will have to go after a contractor that may not have personal assets to cover any damages

10.  Subcontractors or Workers Compensation and Employer Liability Insurance – any business operating in North America requires some form of (Part 1) workers compensation – this insurance transfers any potential liability from the contractor over to the insurance company.  Employer Liability insurance (Part 2) helps to protect the company in case of any third party issues or to cover insurance gaps.  There is a great Article on that explains employee-related insurance for small businessses.

This Article compliments a few of our recent Installer Insights:

Note: is an educational resource and directory service, but we are not directly affiliated with the installers listed on our site.  Conduct your own due diligence before hiring any installer.  Check out “How to Choose a TopInstaller” for more information.  While this article offers some advice on how to solve potential installation problems, work directly with your installer, retailer and product manufacturer to solve issues.



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