Whether you’re a doctor or a deckhand, a lawyer or a locksmith, a stay-at-home mom or a self-employed dad, we all have a place we call home. It’s the place whose front door marks the line where the outside world ends and our individual lives begin. It’s a place for receiving our daily doses of comfort, security, and relaxation, when at all possible. With the ever-increasing property values and home-owning hurdles of modern society, the home has become so much more than the simple means of seeking shelter from the elements. Your home is your castle, and for most of us, it’s also our biggest investment. No one in their right mind would knowingly “cut corners” in the construction of their own home, the same dwelling in which they plan to spend a significant portion of their lives, if these short-term money-saving tactics would compromise the structural integrity and lifespan of the building. Unfortunately, however, it’s often the decisions we make after the house is built that can be the most damaging. One example is the bargain shopping approach to choosing a restoration and repair service professional. If your home is ever faced with a disaster worthy of a restoration contractor, there are much more important factors than price to consider when making a decision.
Depending upon the type of damage and the restorative services needed, you may not have much time to make a decision before even more damage takes place. Rising humidity conditions, water intrusion, and unprotected contents can drastically limit the amount of time you have available for price shopping and collecting estimates. You may feel inclined to go with the first company that answers the phone or shows up at your door. Your insurance company might even have a pre-approved vendor they want you to go with, based upon a prior relationship or an inside agreement that takes care of any pricing or service issues that may arise. The important thing to remember during the critical days following your disaster is that THE DECISION IS ALWAYS YOURS, no matter what your insurer or the contractor tells you, and you always have the right to refuse or accept any company you choose. It is important to observe each proposal as calmly and objectively as possible, being aware that time is short and the consequences of a decision can be long-term and significant.
So what should you consider when deciding on a restoration company? Take a moment to take in the appearance and demeanor of the people inspecting your home. A good restoration professional is not only a skilled craftsman, but a well-groomed, kind, and compassionate soul with a vested interest in helping people and making their customers happy. Sometimes the larger franchises with the popular trucks and slogans are harder to evaluate, because every branch has its own set of personalities and standards, despite being superficially tied into the core values of a national chain. Slow down and think about how you would feel having this person working in your home on a daily basis, and you can effectively speed up the whole process. Monitor the thoroughness of their inspections and explanations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you ask a contractor, “Why should I choose you?” and their response centers mostly on a low price, then that is probably all they have to offer. In the realm of insurance work, all contractors should be close to the same pricing anyway, and a good restoration professional should be able to tell you more about the high quality and added values of the work they’ll perform. Some companies willingly compromise quality and profitability based on the quantity of jobs they receive unconditionally from name recognition or vendor agreements, and consequently their customer satisfaction rates suffer. Use your intuition and the power of your first impression when choosing a qualified contractor. When it comes to defending your fortress, you’ll want to team up with a company that earns its jobs, based on its own merit and a proven track record of happy customers.