The 5 Key Things to Look For in a Great Contractor:
There are 5 key things to look for in a great contractor. Here is a handy list to reference as you do your research. While these points are specific to irrigation system contractors, they are good general rules of thumb.
1. Tenure as a company, 95% of most companies go out of business in 5 years. New companies are learning on your job; their mistakes become your problem. We recommend looking at companies that have been in business for a minimum of 5 years.
2. Reputation References are great but even better are public sites such as Washington Checkbook, Angie’s List, and Service Magic. These sites confirm companies have the right licenses, valid insurance and give customers the ability to express their feedback on how their experience was with their contractor.
3. Do they actively do work in your area? The actual installation is just the first step towards a good solution for your lawn. Next, you need the company’s resources to train and retrain you on how to use the system and also how to properly maintain the system. If you live in Mclean, it doesn’t make sense to hire a contractor based out of Maryland or Fredericksburg Virginia because providing your service will always be difficult if they don’t service many customers in your area.
4. How many systems do they install in a year? Every year, we receive hundreds of new customers who want a reliable company to service their systems. The typical reasons are vast, ranging from the company went out of business, doesn’t return their phone calls, service technicians aren’t experienced, etc. But the type of company is always consistent: small contractors! The owner typically wears all the hats and loses focus on your needs~ One person has a hand in sales, project management, parts manager, accounts payable, accounts receivable, service manager, billing, receptionist, etc. More often than not, they do a great job at sales and a decent job at installations but stink at the rest. Remember, a warranty is only as good as the company.
5. Are they certified irrigation contractors? This is a national certification that contractors must sit for 2 days of class and pass a 4-hour exam. The test covers: proper backflows and installation, how to analyze water flow rates and pressure, irrigation design, safety, troubleshooting, etc. We are surprised it isn’t a state law to be a Certified Irrigation Contractor; most states mandate contractors are certified. Regardless, it is a great criterion to consider when selecting the right contractor for your system.
Protect your most valuable investment, your home, by ensuring only the best contractors are given the privilege of working with you!