How to Choose the Best Restoration Company- Questions We Should be Asking
Have you ever been faced with the overwhelming task of having to hire a restoration company? Not only did you just find out your home or business has been devastated by a water, fire, or some other havoc, but now you must choose who can help. It is no surprise that this disaster will end up costing quite a bit of money. However, is there a way to minimize that cost? Most companies promise that they are the best but, can you really trust their claims? How do you know who to believe? What research can you do on your own in order to make sure you are making the best decision? Let us discuss some of the best questions to ask, who you can talk to, and things to avoid doing while you search for how to choose the best restoration company.
How to Choose the Best Restoration Company- 6 Tips Worth Following:
Hire a Local Team
Why local? There are several reasons that play into the answer. First, a local restoration company can arrive much more quickly and will be more likely to fit you into their schedule since you are so close. Then, there is the advantage of having a relationship with someone who can provide you with an honest evaluation of this local candidate. In other words, you probably know someone who has dealt with this company before and can provide you with some much-needed insight. An added benefit is you are putting money back into your local community, but probably not something you have at the top of your list if you just faced a disaster. Still, it’s a plus!
Choose a Certified Company Meeting Industry Standards
This is probably one of the most important things to look out for when deciding how to choose the best restoration company. It is not wise to just hire a company that claims to know what they are doing. Just because someone has a business, doesn’t mean they are qualified to help you. For example, restoration trades need certifications to meet industry standards. Those standards are made by someone like the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification). When a restoration company is certified, they demonstrate that everyone has received proper training in the areas of services provided. This means, they understand how to do their job the best way, and in a safe and timely manner. It is also noteworthy that when a company chooses to be certified, they have a clear commitment to the quality of their work.
Pick a Licensed and Insured Company
Again, this is a very important question to ask your potential restoration company. Why? Well, as you may already know, insurance works to protect both you and the technicians working on your property. Any injuries resulting from work done would be covered by general liability insurance. If not, you could potentially be held responsible through your homeowner’s insurance. Avoid the mistake of not asking and having extra to worry about.
Additionally, you want to make sure the company you hire is licensed. What exactly does that mean? Well, each state requires professions to have a license before being able to do business. This license basically means that a company has passed at least the minimum requirements the state has put in place in order to run a business. It’s highly unlikely a company will say no to the question, because it is in fact, illegal to operate a business without a license.
Ask About Emergency Availability
When facing a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action, you are going to want a company who is available to give you IMMEDIATE help. Since water damaged and fires aren’t ever predictable, it’s a good idea to do this research before you need it. Take the time to call around and ask the company you are researching if they provide 24/7 emergency services and telephone support. It seems to be the case that disasters strike when we least expect them. For example, a heavy rain flooding a basement or even a fire tend to happen in the middle of the night or early morning. Therefore, if a company doesn’t offer 24/7 assistance, it’s time to keep looking for a better fit.
Check Reputable References
References are very important in deciding how to choose the best restoration company for your needs. The best insight is obviously going to come from firsthand references. Ask friends, family or neighbors who have had similar issues who they used. Ask what they liked about the company, how much they paid (it may be rude to ask the exact price, but hey, a ballpark estimate works too!) and what they didn’t appreciate as much. All this information can go a long way in helping you make a good decision.
Then there are third party references, which honestly, can be just as helpful as talking to a neighbor or friend. Why? Well, we live in an age where information about anything is accessed with the touch of a button. This applies to references on restoration companies. Companies often get reviews online from past customers. In order to view them, simply type the “company name” plus “reviews” and I’m positive you will get some helpful information. Social Media sites like Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List and Merchant Circle are a few reliable review sites you might want to look at. Pay attention to what customers are saying about the quality of services and how they were treated. Most companies will give you links to their reviews on their website, which can be helpful too.
Ask if They Work with Your Insurance
Think of the restoration company as your first level of defense, like a lawyer. Now, I’m not saying the insurance company is the enemy, however, it is the adjuster’s job to negotiate and get the claim to be as low dollar as possible. You are going to want a contractor who has the knowledge and willingness to help you. For example, it would be hard for someone with no background in restoration to be able to communicate the source and extent of damage, while at the same time proving your insurance policy will need to cover the cost of repairs. Having a good restoration company to communicate with your insurance provider will take some of the headache out of an already stressful situation.
The Bottom Line:
Take these six tips and apply them in your search for the best restoration company. You may find many promises out there, but if you don’t do proper research, they can lead to disappointing results. First, check the facts, figure out what is true. Find out what has worked for others in your same situation and see if a company can provide those same results for you. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions. Remember, you are paying for a service and deserve the best for the money you’re giving. And lastly, don’t give up in your search. Figuring out how to choose the best restoration company is the first step. A restoration company that fits your specific needs is out there, just make sure to do your part and find them!