Masonry home improvements can provide tremendous quality of life benefits and add dollars to your property value. Stone patios, walkways, veneer facades and outdoor fireplaces require a skilled professional to implement. That’s why it’s important to get a good sense of who you will be working with when hiring a stone masonry contractor. Here are five questions to ask a masonry contractor.
Is the Masonry Contractor State Certified?
At one point, there was a national epidemic of sub-par contractors flooding the market. In an effort to regulate the construction industry, the Georgia General Assembly formed the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors in 2004. As a property owner, it’s in your best interest to work with certified masonry contractors that are subject to oversight. Accreditation tells you the contractor is a professional stone mason, not someone picking up a buck on the side. Similarly, if past customers have lodged complaints about shoddy prior work, the state should have a record. Certification separates the pros from the nos.
Does the Masonry Contractor Have Insurance?
Government certification generally means that the state has required a stone mason contractor to have insurance. It isn’t uncommon for insurance carriers to drop someone for missing a payment or excessive claims. It’s important to understand that if an accident or injury occurs in the course of the project, you don’t want the injured person to file a claim against your homeowners’ or business insurance. You certainly don’t want to face a civil lawsuit because you worked with an uninsured contractor. Insurance matters.
Is the Contractor Registered with the BBB?
An outfit not registering with the Better Business Bureau isn’t a make or break measure. In today’s social media environment, unhappy customers vent their displeasure on Google, Yelp, and many other forums. The BBB takes complaints more seriously and follows up with business owners about the circumstances. Basically, the BBB has far more credibility. If the contractor has an affiliation, all the better.
Ask for References when Hiring a Stone Masonry Contractor
Nothing speaks louder than calling up a past client or driving by the site of previous work to calculate a contractor’s skill and professionalism. A confident business owner won’t hesitate to list a few references. A sketchy outfit won’t list any. So, when a stonemason is needed, be sure to ask for references.
What is the Cost and Payment Schedule?
Construction contracts generally require a partial payment up front and a schedule of installments. Sometimes it’s another portion of the halfway mark and a final payment upon completion. If the deal weighs more than half in advance, that may be a sign to call someone else. Most agreements are estimates. Therefore, you should also ask about limits on potential cost overruns when hiring a stone masonry contractor.
Hiring a Stone Masonry Contractor with Pinska Masonry
If you are interested in finding a mason for hire, contact Pinska Masonry for more information or an estimate.