With so many commercial flooring contractors available, and each with different specialities, levels of ability, prices and skillsets, how do you know who to choose? It is not uncommon for organisations to be burned by flooring contractors who have promised the earth but ending up delivering a project which is well below par, or well above budget. In fact, we have spoken to many people who have experienced this and are, understandably, reluctant to employ a flooring contractor for fear of it happening again.
So how do you minimise the chances of this happening and ensure that your project exceeds your expectations?
Plan your project so all parties understand what is expected
This may sound obvious, but it really helps if you know how you want the project to turn out. Do your research and identify expectations and deliverables that you can discuss with the contractors before getting a quote. Now, nobody expects you to know exactly how the project should be carried out, after all you are not the flooring expert, but, the more knowledge you have the better for the contractor. A knowledgeable contractor will be able to guide you on the best way to achieve your plan and also point out any issues that you may not have thought of. In fact, be wary of any contractor who agrees to complete your plan without offering any guidance, advice or suggestions. After all you will be employing them based on their specialist knowledge, not to agree with everything you suggest. Your plan is an outline of what you want to achieve, it is the job of the contractor to provide you with options on how best to deliver your plan.
Set a budget for your project
Now, this is a tricky one… Setting a budget is essential so that you know how much you can spend on a project, but set it too low and you may only be able to employ cowboy contractors! The best thing to do is to carry out research so you have an idea of what the project may cost, before you decide whether you can afford it or not. Once you have an idea in your head of how much it should cost, and how much you can afford to pay, speak to a range of contractors (3 is a good rule of thumb) to get prices.
At this point you will no doubt get a range of prices, and whilst it is tempting to go with the lowest cost, this can be dangerous. Make sure you ask the right questions. Find out why the cost is lower than the other quotes, and how this will affect the quality of the work. Likewise, ask questions about the higher quote and find out how they justify the difference in cost.
Another option is to approach the contractors with your budget price and ask them to detail what they can do within your budget. You will then receive a different set of solutions based on the same price, which is a good way of identifying the different approaches each contractor will take.
Look at previous work carried out by the flooring contractors
This is probably the most important step in deciding who to go with. Do as much research as you can about previous projects carried out by each contractor. Look at their website, do they have a case studies section? Do they provide photos and videos of the projects? Do they include testimonials from their clients? These are all important guides on how they deliver their projects and keep their clients happy throughout the process. A trustworthy flooring contractor will not only include details about who they carried the work out for but will also be happy to provide a reference. So, don’t be shy, ask the contractor for their client’s contact details so you can find out if they are happy with their work. If they are reluctant for you to speak with their clients, this should raise alarm bells.
Choosing the right flooring contractor can no doubt be a headache, especially if you have been burned in the past. Following the tips above will help put you in a strong position when choosing a flooring contractor and help to ensure your project is delivered on time, on budget, and with a level of quality you will be happy with.