In part one of this two-part series, we talked about how experience, security,
and insurance are important things to consider which choosing a company
to install your garage door, entry/storm door, awning, or screen. Choosing
the right company is just as big of a decision as picking which type of
door and color you want on the outside of your home. In part two we will
be looking at workmanship, warranties, and code compliance.
Workmanship is a measure of the quality of a company’s work. It relates
to experience in a way. This is where a visit to a past job is helpful.
As mentioned in the last post, call references! Ask them about the quality
of the work and what they thought of the installers. Ask specific questions
about whether the installers arrived in a timely manner, if they were
courteous and focused, and if they cleaned up after themselves.
Look at the company’s trucks. Do the name and phone number appear
on the vehicle? Company vehicles are one of the first outward signs of
how the company is run and how your job will be treated. The trucks don’t
have to be brand new, just well maintained, clean, and neat. This is often
a reflection of the kind of treatment you will receive when the installers
arrive at your home.
Ask about the average length of time employees have been with the company.
This speaks volumes about the way the employees are treated. They generally
don’t stay with a company that doesn’t treat their customers
well. It takes more than a year or two to become a competent technician
and installer, therefore, it is a good idea to ask about the training
programs utilized for new employees and how veterans are kept up to date
on their skills and industry changes. Companies with long term employees
have an environment to allow for skills to be passed down from generation
The real test of how much faith a contractor has in his own ability is
reflected in the warranty he offers. A reputable contractor will generally
offer some form of a “Written Labor Warranty.”
Not one that is handwritten in the comment section of the bid, but one
that is printed on the contractor’s estimate or proposal form as
well as their literature.
In addition, the paperwork should list the manufacturers of the products
they install along with the manufacturer’s warranty. Reputable manufacturers
will have a printed warranty to accompany the product. Demand a copy of
it before you pay for the work and read it! Don’t wait until you
have a problem before you read it. Lastly, make sure you understand what
you get and what you don’t get. Your contractor should be able to
explain it clearly and give references of customers who used their warranty
and will share their experiences.
Code and Regulatory Compliance
Building codes and safety regulations have been legislated to protect
the installers and the homeowners. Find out how knowledgeable your contractor
is about local building codes, industry safety practices, and government
regulations. The best way to do this is by asking people you know who
know about these matters. You are not trying to be an expert, but just
be aware of some of the major concepts. Finally, don’t be afraid
to ask them about the content of their training programs, it should be