INFORMATION - Why hire a professional
A professional is recognized as a person who has a specialized body of knowledge and has received intensive training in a particular field. Another common way of determining that people are professionals is by contrasting them with amateurs, and that's exactly what we'd like to talk to you about.
The Plastering Industry has changed markedly in the last 15 years. New products and materials and innovative application techniques demand the education and expertise of a professional.
Plastering is a relatively "easy-entry" business. Frankly, not all plastering contractors are professionals, and too many builders and contractors and owners have paid dearly for using amateurs. You don't have to do more than glance at the Yellow Pages to see that there are many people calling themselves plastering contractors. A year-to-year comparison of the Yellow Pages will show you that many contractors do not stay in business for very long.
Plastering is a complicated and demanding trade. A professional plastering contractor must have knowledge of materials and building technology, and a trained and skilled work force to give the best possible service to his/her customers.
Because an informed customer is a good customer, find out as much as you can about the contractor you are considering. To get the job done right the first time and to avoid costly repairs later, insist on a professional.
What Can a Professional Plastering Contractor Offer Me?
A professional Plastering Contractor may have a large or small business. They may have been in business 60 years or just a few years. But all have some traits in common. Professional Plastering Contractors are:
A guarantee is only as good as the company giving it. What good is a guarantee when the company that did your work is out of business? A professional plastering contractor with a proven track record will still be in business should a problem arise.
- WELL ESTABLISHED - A professional plastering contractor will have a permanent place of business address (not just a P. O. Box), a telephone number, a tax identification number and where appropriate, certification or a business license.
- EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE - The contractor should be an experienced problem-solver, with a thorough understanding of his/her industry. Plastering skills cannot be learned overnight. There are accepted methods for the proper installation of lath, plaster, EIFS and fireproofing.
- INSURED AND COMMITTD TO SAFETY - Plastering can be a dangerous business. A sloppy operation can endanger workers and bystanders, and cause property damage. Don't be shy about asking the contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. Beware the low bidder who's cheap because he doesn't have complete insurance, including workers' compensation coverage or the equivalent. Too many unsuspecting home and building owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured contractors.
- COMMITTED TO EDUCATION - The Plastering Industry including the Suppliers & Manufactures offers a variety of educational programs that a professional plastering contractor will have attended. More important, the best contractor is only as good as the workers who do the application. Insist on having trained, experienced mechanics, instead of laborers employed for one or two interim jobs.
- USING QUALITY MATERIALS - In today's market, you can buy dozens of different types of wall systems. A professional plastering contractor is interested in more than simply getting the job done and moving on; he/she will offer service after the sale and application. Ask for a fair guarantee from the manufacturer and the contractor written in language you can understand.
What Can I Do to Make Sure I'm Working With a Professional?
- Be sure you're comfortable with the contractor and the wall system he/she suggesting. A pro is going to be happy to answer your questions.
- Check customer references. Ask for the names of several customers with jobs similar to yours. Be sure the contractor has performed as promised.
- Check financial information. A professional plastering contractor will give you names of its Suppliers & Manufacturers and banking references. Make sure the contractor is a responsible business person.
- Call the Better Business Bureau. You will find out quickly if there have been a lot of complaints about the contractor or if any complaints have not been satisfactorily resolved.
- Insist on a written bid. You'll get it from a professional plaster contractor. Examine it to make sure you think it is complete and fair.