Between Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Lidia, North America has experienced an eventful hurricane season. The damage and devastation that followed each major weather event is forcing families and communities from Baja California to the coast of Florida to rebuild their homes and their lives. The statistics about the storms below give a glimpse as to the destruction that now needs to be restored with the help of quality vendors.
Now that the skies have cleared, many vendors are making their way into these areas ready to help rebuild homes. During this critical time for families and communities who have lost everything, it’s more important than ever that board members choose qualified, compliant and honest vendors – because in the whirlwind of helping homeowners get back to normal, it’s easier to get duped by a contractor that doesn’t have the community’s best interests in mind.
Before you hire any vendor, ask them these three questions suggested by professional contractor and TV personality Mike Holmes and our community management professionals to help you accurately gauge whether a partnership would be appropriate.
1. Can you produce a certificate of insurance that includes a worker’s compensation policy?
“The next important item to verify is insurance, specifically whether the vendor has a worker’s compensation policy; this is especially important because it protects your community in case an employee of the vendor gets hurt while working in your community. Ask for a certificate and call the carrier to confirm their policies. (Your association should still carry its own worker’s compensation policy in case the vendor’s policy lapses.)”
-Jesse Dubuque, CMCA®
2. What will the process be for the project?
“When interviewing a vendor, especially for a larger project, I always make sure to ask them this question. It may seem worded a bit vaguely, but the responses will help you determine how prepared and organized they are for a project of your scope. While a professional management company or an engineer performing project management will make every effort to get bids from reliable contractors who have handled similar projects, sometimes a vendor who gets to the interview isn’t quite prepared for your community’s needs — and this question can help identify that concern early.
I look for responses that include details about the permit application process, scheduling a pre-construction meeting to determine where they can leave materials and a porta-potty on-site, discussions on how owners will be notified of work that affects them directly (notices mailed, posted on mailboxes, front doors, etc), how damage reports from homeowners will be addressed, what type of timeline to anticipate, what type of progress reports to expect, and who will be on your site and who emergency contacts will be.”
–Lea Marcou, CMCA®, AMS® , PCAM®
3. What kind of warranty do you offer and what does it cover?
“This is important to know. I always say the value of warranties is found in the smallest print on the paper. You need to understand the limits of the warranty and what you, the HOA, must provide for documentation, proof of purchases, etc. to ensure the warranties are valid.”
-Mike Holmes, Professional Contractor and TV Personality
Never Hire a Bad Vendor Again
Find more questions to ask that will lead you to the right vendors by reading our ebook, “Good Vendor. Bad Vendor. Ask These 12 Questions to Find out Before You Hire Them” now!