Credentials are Important When Hiring Contractor

When it comes to picking a home improvement contractor, make sure that person and company meet all the requirements on your checklist.

“A contractor is like an auto mechanic in that they provide an important service the average person knows little about,” says Justin Martin, president of Martin Exteriors, 11704 Main St., Roscoe. “It can be difficult to assess the expertise and qualifications of a contractor superficially, and that’s where credentials come in.”

Credentials are awarded to reputable manufacturers following the successful completion of specialized training courses. They signify that the contractor is qualified to work with the product. A credentialed contractor can offer extended manufacturer warranties which may cover costs associated with labor, disposal, replacements and workmanship.

Martin Exteriors holds the highest-level credentials with Certainteed as a Select ShingleMaster Roofing Contractor and 5-Star Siding Contractor. The company is a Mastic Elite Siding Contractor, which means it offers special warranties on siding and roofing.

Verify that a contractor is in good standing with the state by going to the website for Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also is a great resource for consumers to check out a business’s complaint record and rating. If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it has made a commitment to resolve any consumer complaints. Businesses pay a fee to the BBB for regular reviews and monitoring.

Make sure your potential contractor has certificates of insurance that cover liability and workman’s compensation.

Contractors backed by the Google Guarantee badge have passed a Google screening and qualification process as added protection for the customer. Be sure to check out the contractor’s reviews.

Other tips: Ask the contractor for photos and/or addresses of local projects they’ve completed and talk to a contractor’s customers.

The Illinois Attorney General says to be wary of businesses operating out of post office boxes, private mailboxes and suites instead of a local business address. ❚