If you are looking to hire an HVAC contractor in Tallahassee for repairs, installation, or renovations, choosing the right one can be tough! Don’t fret, with a little research you will find a highly recommend, licensed, and insured HVAC contractor who is ready to get to work!
Below is a list of steps to take when choosing an HVAC contractor in Tallahassee.
1. Ask for referrals. The best way to start your search is to ask friends, family members, and neighbors if they have an HVAC contractor they’ve been happy with. Asking other homeowners you know for recommendations should help you come up with a short list of contractors to start researching.
2. Check online reviews. After you get suggestions for HVAC contractors in Tallahassee from your friends and neighbors, check out Google+ and Facebook for reviews of the suggested HVAC contractors. You can also check the contractor’s website to see if they have a testimonials page. It’s always a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for complaints against the contractor as well. Take the online reviews with a grain of salt. If an HVAC contractor has mostly four and five-star reviews, don’t get too hung up on one or two bad reviews. However, if an HVAC contractor has mostly bad reviews, that should give you pause about keeping them on your short list.
3. Is the HVAC contractor licensed, certified, and insured? No matter how nice an HVAC contractor is over the phone or how many people recommended them, under no circumstances should you allow someone to work in your home who doesn’t have the state required licensing or certifications. Most contractors will be happy to show you a copy of their license and certifications - in fact, their license number should be listed on any flyers or their website. Not all states require HVAC contractors to have worker’s compensation insurance. Some contractors may choose to carry it even if it is not required, if not, contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier and ask what your coverage would be if a contractor is injured in your home.
4. Check references - Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, call them and ask for specific references. Any professional contractor will be happy to direct you to happy customers.
5. Get itemized estimates - in writing! Don’t take someone’s word for it when it comes to the price of an HVAC job. A quality contractor will perform a full inspection and give you a detailed written estimate for your review. Some contractors will offer an estimate without an inspection, but then once the work begins and new problems pop up, your bill starts to climb. The same goes for an estimate over the phone - how can a contractor know the scope of work needed from just a description? If the HVAC contractor won’t conduct an inspection and then provide you with a written estimate, time to move on to the next choice on your list. Don’t forget to ask what the warranties are for repair work and installations, and for what length of time they last.
6. Narrow your list to three contractors. Once you’ve done all your research, get written estimates from at least three HVAC contractors. While the lowest-priced bid might seem enticing, if it is considerably lower than the other bids, that should make you wonder. How are they able to offer such a bargain? By now, you should have ruled out unlicensed contractors, but that would be the first thing to check when you receive a very cheap bid. Another possible reason for a low bid, the HVAC contractor might be using cheap materials and offering short warranties. You will be looking at more frequent repairs and more money owed to the contractor in the long run.
Bottom line, go with your gut. If everyone in your neighborhood raves about one HVAC contractor but you found them rude and off-putting, then move on to another choice. Ideally, you want to find a contractor who you can call later down the road when you need more work done, and it’s hard to do that if you don’t have a good working relationship with them.