The first step in finding the best masonry contractor for your brick home is knowing exactly what you want. If you don’t, it’ll be hard to have a successful conversation.
When you know what you want, you’re able to shop around and ask questions that will help you determine if a masonry contractor is right for you. Make sure you know what design you’d like, a timeline and even which specific type of brick you’re looking for. If you’re not sure, do some research and create a good set of questions. Start with the following and don’t be afraid to ask more!
The first question you’ll want to ask potential masonry contractors is whether or not they have masonry certifications. All potential hires need to be certified by the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) at the very least. Any other certifications are added bonuses.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry and make sure you ask to see the contractor’s proof of insurance. When they show it to you, just make sure that it is up to date and valid.
Depending on the work you’re looking to get done, it may be beneficial to hire someone with specific areas of specialties. Some masons aren’t able to work well with natural stone while others have outstanding experience, but only with paver stone.
Knowing how fast someone will complete the job is integral in pricing as well as planning. When a masonry job is underway, there is a huge break in your routine as the area you’re getting work done is almost always off limits while under construction. Make sure that the timeline is clear and that they are confident in what they tell you.
Some companies want you to get the preparation work done in advanced so that the job can be started quickly and without complication. Check with your prospective masonry contractors before moving forward.
One of the best ways to tell whether or not you’re in good hands is through client references. With client references, you’re able to see previous masonry work your contractor has done along with general satisfaction levels. This is the perfect time to inquire about professionalism and timeliness.
Most contractors require at least some sort of down payment upfront in order to help pay for startup costs, but not all of them. Make sure you ask about this along with the remaining calendar for due dates with payment. Don’t make the last payment until you are satisfied with the work that was agreed on in the initial contract.
Sometimes materials are included in the estimate, which is why a lot of contractors get some money up front. However, there are also a lot of companies that don’t include the cost of materials. This can come as quite a surprise if you move forward without knowing. Make sure you know exactly what is included, and if you think you can get materials cheaper on your own then discuss this option with your contractor.
A lot of materials used are heavy, messy and difficult to clean up alone. Make sure that you know whether or not a comprehensive cleanup will be done once they finish the job.
After you’ve asked your questions and shopped around a bit, it’s time to negotiate a contract. Do some research and talk to your friends about what they’ve paid so that you don’t overpay. However, keep in mind that this is a tough job so your estimate might be a bit higher than other home improvement jobs.
At the end of the day you need to trust your instincts. If you get answers you want to hear, but something just doesn’t feel right, then keep shopping around. There are plenty of qualified masonry contractors available for your next project.
If you’re looking for someone you can trust, give us a call at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. All of our professionals are fully trained, professional and serious about their work. We specialize in new masonry work as well as updates and restoration. Give us a call today at 708-942-1951 or head over to our website www.chicagotuckpointinginc.com.