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Top tips for choosing a contractor.

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The time has come for you to pick a contractor and it seems like there are hundreds out there to choose from. Here are out top tips to help you pick the right contractor…

Get Recommendation’s

When you start to consider which contractors to use, collect recommendations from sources you trust. Ask colleagues or contacts within other companies for their advice as well as checking reviews online. Ask to view examples of their work and contact previous customers for a realistic view of what they were like to work with. Check whether the work was completed on time and to what standard. Did they meet expectations and were they easy to communicate with? These are all important questions to ask before making your decision.

Speciality

Check that the company you choose, specialise in your type of project. Pick someone who is knowledgeable in the area and has lots of experience with similar projects. This way they know what they’re doing and what to do if something goes wrong!

Do your checks!

Ask the company a number of questions before committing to anything. Draw up a list of what is important to you and make sure they can accommodate this. Here are a few questions we recommend asking but you should add whatever you feel you need to know before hiring a contractor!

-Have they completed any similar projects and can you see examples of this?

-Can you approach other customers for their opinions on the company?

-Do they undertake projects of your size?

-Can they give examples of similar projects with similar and different budgets (both lower and higher than yours)?

-How many projects will they have going on at the same time? (A good company will have several projects and know how to schedule these around each other)

-Get details of their insurance and make sure they comply with legislation. (You don’t want to be responsible for any accidents due to not checking a simple thing like insurance)

-When can they start? (some companies may have a lot of work on, so check when they can realistically start and when the project will be complete)

-Do they have any qualifications and accreditations?

Pick a contractor who matches your list of requirements and not someone who just adheres to a few.

Make detailed plans

Make clear and concise plans for your project and ask for their opinion. Remember you are hiring them to do a job which they have a vast amount of knowledge in, so accept their advice and opinions. Be very clear in what you expect and what you want the completed project to be. Without clear guidelines, you open yourself up to interpretation and huge differences may occur between what you want and what you get.

Also, be clear about what you expect from the contractor and what they expect from you. Do they need you to clear a room, what will they provide and what will you provide etc. By doing this, you ensure you are both on the same page and no disruptions will occur later down the line from unclear guidelines.

You need to find someone who you feel will work best with you.

Be realistic with your budget.

Set yourself a budget and stick to it, but make sure you allow room in your budget for any contingencies you may need. It is always better to overestimate than underestimate when it comes to your budget. Make your contractor aware of your budget and ask their advice as to whether they believe it is realistic. Some contractors will not be able to work within your budget and then it is time to move on and look for another.

Think Local

Look for local companies who come with good recommendations. If a company has worked in your local community for a long time and is still working well, there’s a reason for that. It’s often hard to stand the test of time against multi-national organisations who have huge financial backing behind them so those who have are clearly a good choice. Local contractors will be available readily and will know the community. They will have years of experience working in the area and a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to other  local companies and suppliers.

Meet them first

It’s always important to meet somebody before you hire them. Go to their offices or meet them on site to get a feel of how they are in their own environment. Choose somebody who you get along with and can communicate with easy. You want to share similar values with them and know that you can trust them with your project.

Don’t feel pressured.

When you meet someone you have to know that they are the right contractor for you. A lot of the time our gut feeling is the right feeling to go with. Don’t feel pressured into using a contractor just because you’ve met them, instead take your time and meet as many people as it takes to find the right company for you. Remember there are plenty of companies out there and it will pay in the long run for you to choose the right one for you.

Create a contract

Create a clear contract before any work is undertaken and ask for your contractor’s opinion. Detail all steps of the projects and when you expect it to be completed. Include details regarding payment, insurance, start date, materials etc. Make sure both you and the contractor fully understand the project moving forward.

Now you’ve picked your contractor, how do you manage them on site? Check the ADC blog next week for our post to help you manage multiple contractors on one building site.

Testimonials
  • “The Automatic Door Company (ADC) were asked to quote for the contract to maintain the Auto Doors at East Cheshire NHS Trust in 2014. Which has been carried out to an exceptional standard. During this period ADC have also replaced two doors to the entrance to our A&E these doors have changed the appearance and functionality of the A&E. ADC have also carried out the installation to the entrance to Orthopaedics this has changed the waiting area for the better and the waiting area is now more comfortable for patients and staff within the waiting area. Over all ADC have work to a high standard as I look forward to working with ADC in the future.”

    East Cheshire NHS Trust (Laurence Edwards, Estates officer)
  • “Edge Hill University have been using ADC for the installation, servicing and reactive repairs of our automatic doors for a number of years. The work they have carried out is neat, tidy and has been delivered to a high standard. Site Engineers are always well presented, polite and communicate in a professional manner, Customer Service Excellence is a core requirement for Edge Hill University. I would not hesitate to recommend (working with) The Automatic Door Company. Technical enquiries are always responded to in a prompt manner, with Administrative Staff willing to help in any way they can.”

    Edge Hill University (Mark Burton, Facilities Manager)
  • “On a busy university campus its vital that the infra-structure runs smoothly. ADC have maintained and repaired the doors here for many years, giving us a very dependable service at a competitive price, and moreover total piece of mind.”

    Edge Hill University (Colin Francis, Maintenance Supervisor)
  • “ADC have serviced our automatic doors for a number of years now and we would highly recommend their service. They are quick to respond to enquiries and maintain a professional demeanour when on site. Their skilled engineers are friendly and always willing to go out of their way to help with any issues or queries we may have. We are very happy with the service ADC provide and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.”

    Guardian Print Centre (Rob Court, Facilities Manager)
  • “The ADC Service engineers are highly reliable and hardworking. They are thoughtful of our needs and always willing to go the extra mile to help us, offering information and advice as well as quality service. We have worked with ADC for the past 9 years and we would use ADC for future works as we are pleased with everything they have delivered so far.”

    Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (Glyn Greenwood, Assistant Building Management Officer)

Areas we serve

With over 20 years of experience as the UK's leading automatic door specialist, we have expanded our services to span across England, Wales and the South of Scotland. We manufacture and install a range of doors systems, including automatic doors, roller shutters and gates and barriers, as well as offering automatic door service and maintenance contracts and repairments.

From Liverpool to Manchester, to Southampton and Bristol, and everywhere in between, our professional installation team will deliver customised automatic door solutions that meet your project requirements and budgets.

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