Successful Project implementation relies on Identifying good Service Provider Qualifications, Skills and Performance

Many on-line lead generating businesses connect Service Providers with Project Owners. But do these businesses give Project Owners a false sense of security as it relates to hiring the right Service Provider to get the best job or performance?

Essential qualifications such as Literary and Numeracy are useful because they make skills visible. And it is assumed that the holder of a professional license or certificate can read and understand construction documents, and those with university degrees can do much more. But Hiring decisions should include good literacy and numeracy skills; professional experience and credentials; and Project Owner knowledge of project expectations for the project being undertaken:

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world, whereas:

Numeracy is the ability to handle numbers, including the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and percentages. And to gather and compile statistical data in various formats, analyze, interpret and present data in a clear way. Not to mention Problem solving.

Professional Experience and Credentials is the ability to manage and oversee the specific project to a successful completion.

Project Owner Knowledge is ability to rely on meaningful information, where to find it and basic project expectations.

Here are a few things to consider when embarking on you next construction or improvement project:

Suggestions for starting any Project:

  1. Define your Goals. First things first: Decide what you want to achieve.
  2. Identify Your Team Members: Qualify them with up-to-date information.
  3. Define the project Scope of Work: Description of the Work
  4. Develop an Overall Project Plan: When to start, complete, and some idea of costs.
  5. Delegate (smartly): Someone to rely on
  6. Execute and Monitor: Good transparent communication.

What Project Owners need to know?

  1. Basic knowledge of building and construction or where to get meaningful assistance.
  2. Be thorough and pay attention to details.
  3. Possess the ability to work well with others.
  4. Possess the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
  5. Knowledge of market costs or prevailing professional rates or where to find that information.

What’s needed before hiring Service Providers for you next project?

  1. Ability to easily keep Service Provider Profile information updated.
  2.  Contact Information
  3.  If Applicable their Bonding rate, Bonding capacity and work on hand \Contact information
  4.  If estimates are free?
  5.  Insurance information and Certificate of insurance with additionally insured indorsement
  6.  License type, number and expiration date
  7.  Portfolio of completed projects.
  8.  Project expertise (large, medium, short-term handyman, residential or commercial, etc.)?
  9.  Resume or CV of principal.

Traits of Contractors to avoid (stay away from Service Providers with these traits)

  1. Poor Communication Skills:  Slow or not responded to emails/phone calls.
  2. Reluctant to provide a copy of their License.
  3. Reluctance to provide Insurance Information or Certificates of Insurance
  4. Difficult to contact.
  5. Reluctant to sign a Contract.
  6. Rates are significantly lower than others.
  7. They suggest or obtain the wrong Permits.
  8. They suggest that obtaining applicable permits is not necessary.
  9. They don’t follow OSHA Guidelines

Things Project Owners dislike most about home improvement Contractors:

  1. Failing to Communicate
  2. Not overseeing their Subcontractors
  3. Producing Low-Quality Work
  4. Extending the Timeline
  5. Lacking Cleanliness
  6. Springing additional Fees
  7. Entering the home uninvited or without approval
  8. Having no concern for Safety
  9. No respect for property

Tips for finding a good local contractor:

  1. Know what you want before getting Estimates.  Use an RFP to get apples for apples.
  2. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for references.
  3. Interview at Least 5 contractors
  4. Be realistic about availability: Especially in this tight labor market.
  5. Ask what work will be done by Subcontractors.
  6. Choose the right contractor for the right project by diligently reviewing their profiles.
  7. Check licenses, Insurance, complaints and litigation History.

How much should you pay a contractor upfront?

In California, the state limits advance payment at the time of contract signing to 10% of the total estimated job cost or $1,000, whichever amount is lower! All payments thereafter are supposed to be made for work performed or for materials delivered to the job site.

How long should a contractor guarantee his work?

In California, contractors are required to provide warranties on work done for home and business owners for between one and 10 years. The warranties California law provides are a minimum, and longer warranties can be agreed to between the parties.

What is the standard deposit for a contractor?

If you use California as a guide Contractors should not ask for a deposit of more than 10 percent of the total cost of the job or $1,000, whichever is less. * (This applies to any home improvement project, including swimming pools.) Stick to your schedule of payments and don’t let payments get ahead of the completed work.

Know there are possible ways of getting your money back from Bad Contractors

  1. Go to Small Claims Court. This is a legal venue for project owners who feel they are owed money back from a contractor.
  2. Hire an Attorney. Preferably versed in construction law
  3. File a Complaint with the State Contractors License Board
  4. Pursue a Bond Claim. If the project has been bonded or if a Contractor license Bond was required.
  5. Complete Performance Reviews and post them on the internet. offers a free virtual service for Service Providers to easily provide their profile and make this information readily available to Project Owners and others to review. This service also gives both parties the ability to virtually communicate, bid, negotiate, contract and successfully manage projects.

Service Providers can add their Profile information one time and can easily update that information for all interested parties to review.

Things to consider when using on-line lead businesses to find Service Providers:

  1. Are leads Algorithm filtered, cherry picked, and history of fraudulent Service Provider reviews?
  2. Is your contact information being sold?
  3. Are you paying for leads that do not become closed contracts?
  4. Are subscriptions required to get leads or become a lead?
  5. Is there a history of poor or no customer service.

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