When you want it done right, it has to be DunRite!
HOW TO PRE-QUALIFY YOUR CONTRACTOR
THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE HIRING A CONTRACTOR
It is a law that any form of advertising must display the state contractor’s license number (7 digits). This license number can be a very useful tool. A consumer should always go to the Contractor State License Board’s website (www.cslb.ca.gov) and click on the Instant License Check located on the top left. Next, click on the License Number button. Enter the seven-digit number in the license number box, and then click on search for the license. This will bring you to a very informative page where you can check the legitimacy of the contractor you are about to hire.
The most overlooked part of hiring a contractor is located at the bottom of the page. It is the workers’ compensation heading. Here, you may find, more often than not, the contractor has claimed they have no employees and is exempt from workers’ comp. If the contractor is a one-man show, this is fine. If the contractor has ANY employees and claims he is exempt, he is working illegally.
Keep in mind: if a company is cheating their own employees out of workers’ compensation insurance and lying to the state, don’t think they won’t do the same to you.
Also check their service after the sale. After all, everything eventually breaks, sometimes while under warranty, sometimes not for years. Asking the salesman if the company gives good service after the sale is not the best way to get an accurate answer. Do your research.
A wonderful means to get a feel for the service after the sale is to anonymously call the company that you want to hire. Tell them you purchased new HVAC equipment 3-4 months ago, and it has stopped working. How soon can they get someone to look at it? Their response will be your answer to the service you can expect after the sale.
Do not hire a contractor based on their advertising. What is meant by this statement is if a contractor advertises a 24-hour service, make a phone call late in the evening or on a weekend to see if they truly offer the advertised service.
It is also a law that a contractor can ask for a down payment. They may only ask for 10% of the total contract or $1,000.00, whichever is LESS.
A lot of the time, when a contractor wants the money upfront, this indicates they are not very financially stable. This should be a concern to the homeowner.
Don’t be fooled into one brand name of equipment being superior to other brands of equipment. The reality is, if one brand was far superior to all others, that manufacturer would sell all the HVAC products.
All HVAC equipment is essentially the same components in a different tin box. All warranties are comparable. The main ingredient to whether your new HVAC system will perform as designed is the contractor or engineer that initially decides on the size (BTU) of the new system and the quality of the installation.
You need to obtain a building permit for virtually all HVAC installations: it’s the law. If a contractor tells you that a permit is not needed for your situation, it would be a good move to call your local city or county building department to verify for yourself.
The most common reason for a contractor not to obtain a building permit is they are not properly licensed to do so.
The second most common reason for a contractor not to obtain a building permit is poor quality installation.
Purchasing new HVAC equipment can be easy. Do your homework. If it sounds too good (cheap) to be true, it probably is.