Not Every Charleston Contractor Is Created Equal

If you’re looking for the best Charleston contractor, you need to find a service provider that excels in three areas:

Credentials – The best contractors need to be elite installers with credentials from top construction materials manufacturers.

Education – First-rate contractors focus on continuing education. They don’t allow themselves to stagnate, because they know that no matter how good they are, they can always get better.

Standards – The best contractors have the highest possible standards. They run a stable business, have a great reputation, hold themselves to an intense level of professionalism, and display an unparalleled commitment to quality workmanship.

Charleston Contractor

Contract Exteriors loves Charleston, and we love working with Charleston homeowners. We strongly believe that delivering anything less than the best would be a disservice to our clients and our community.

Not all contractors feel that way, of course. They just want to get the job done and take home a paycheck. They might say they care about professionalism and workmanship, but they often don’t have the credentials, education, reputation, and company history to back it up.

We’re not here to tear anyone down, we’re just here to show you, the homeowner, what you should expect from the best Charleston contractor. If you’re ever looking to hire someone, but you still don’t feel totally sure about working with them, here are a few things you can look for.

Credentials

We’re more than just roofers, we’re more than just siders, and we’re more than just deck installers. It’s not a case of “jack of all trades, master of none” with us. If something is worth learning and doing, we believe there’s no reason to not become an expert.

This isn’t just idle boasting. We’ve worked hard to master roofing, siding, and building decks. Without the hard work and commitment to continuing education, we wouldn’t have earned our credentials.

  • Siding – Contract Exteriors is the only Elite Preferred James Hardie Remodeler on the Carolina Coast. Four million American homeowners have James Hardie Fiber Cement siding installed on their homes, making it the most popular brand of home siding in the country. We’re proud to be one of the few preferred installers for the best siding on the market.
  • Roofing – We’re also GAF Master Elite Installers. When it comes to roofing, both materials and workmanship are essential. They separate roofs that just “work” for a few years from beautiful, reliable, worry-free roofs that are truly the royal crown atop a homeowner’s house. Only 3% of contractors nationwide can claim to be a GAF Master Elite Installer, and Contract Exteriors is proud to be among them.
  • Decks – Azek Decking provides a wide variety of durable, gorgeous deck materials for discerning homeowners across the country, but they don’t just endorse any contractor off the street. Contract Exteriors is the only Gold Level Contractor for Azek within 100 miles of the Charleston area.

We care about our materials, and mastering our trade. Working with the best in the business, and gaining credentials from top-level manufacturers doesn’t come easy. We do it because we take pride in our work, and because we don’t believe in providing Charleston homeowners with anything less than the best.

Education

Not all contractors are dedicated to continuing education. Many contractors either think they already know everything, or know there’s more out there but don’t care to see it.

The one thing we know is, we don’t know everything– no one does.

We’re committed to continuing education because there’s always more to learn. We can always know more and get better, no matter how good we are. Like any good tool, the mind needs continued care and maintenance to keep it operating at peak efficiency.

If there’s a new installation technique, we want to learn about it. We regularly attend local events like the Storm Expo in Myrtle Beach and national events like Certified Contractors Network’s annual Fall Conference.

We travel both near and far for training and education. If we think we can learn how to better serve Charleston homeowners and continue being the best Charleston contractor, we’ll be there.

Standards

As a homeowner, you’ll never be satisfied unless you hold the contractors you hire to a high standard. We never want to leave a client unsatisfied, so we hold ourselves to the same high standards.

Those standards don’t have to be nebulous. They can actually be strictly defined, both for the contractor and for the homeowner.

Stability

A stable contractor is a trustworthy contractor. As well as having all of their licenses, insurances, suppliers, and paperwork in line – and they have proof.

Being in business for more than a handful of years shows they are a stable contractor. They’re not just a few guys who bought a truck and some tools. They care about their craft and they care about their clients, so they’re not just in it to make a quick buck.

A stable contractor has:

  • Proof of Establishment
  • Letter and Endorsements from Materials Suppliers
  • Business Licenses

Insurance

As a homeowner, you can and should ask a contractor to supply any of these items at your request.

Reputation

You probably already know this, but word-of-mouth and referrals are huge for contractors. When you recommend us to a friend or family member, we’re grateful and humbled. Our reputation is our business, it’s what keeps the lights on and puts gas in the truck. We couldn’t do our jobs without our reputation.

That’s why we’ll happily show anyone our reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp, Google+, or anywhere else.

As a homeowner, though, you need to be aware that a contractor’s reputation extends beyond online review sites and word-of-mouth.

Reputation also includes:

  • BBB Accreditation
  • Association Memberships
  • Accolades and Awards

Customer References

As with proof of stability, you can check for proof of reputation from any contractor you want to work with. We’re happy to provide any of these items, but some contractors are not.

Professionalism

Professionalism is what separates the well-meaning little kid who mows your lawn from a professional landscaper. Unfortunately, some people charge like professional landscapers, but have worse manners than the kid using his family’s lawn mower to make $5.

Professionalism is important, because it shows you a contractor cares about doing a good job. If they care enough to answer questions and explain every detail of a project, they’re a much better choice than someone who’s not concerned with providing you information.

Professional contractors provide:

  • Detailed Proposal and Change Orders
  • Straight-Forward Sales Agreements with no Tricks or Pressure
  • Courteous, Professional Worker Conduct
  • A Daily Jobsite Cleanup Routine

Again, your contractor should be able to provide proof of any one of these things. If you’re on the fence about something, ask to see it on paper.

Workmanship

Good contractors are committed to their craft. We’re dedicated to every component of your home’s exterior, but some contractors only focus on one thing. That’s totally fine, as long as they exhibit a high-level of workmanship.

We’re not happy with a roof unless the homeowner is happy with the roof. It has to be functional and aesthetically pleasing. If our client isn’t satisfied, we’ve done something wrong and we need to fix it.

Of course we try to never make a mistake in the first place, but if something does happen, we want Charleston homeowners to feel safe and secure that we’ll take care of it.

Contractors with a high-level of workmanship offer:

  • Money Back Guarantees and Warranties
  • Before-and-After Project Photos

Any good contractor can explain every line on every page of their warranties, and they’re happy to spend as much time as it takes going over the finer details with their clients. They should also provide photographic evidence of their workmanship.

At Contract Exteriors, we’re proud to show proof of our credentials, education, and standards to any homeowner that asks. To be the best Charleston contractor, you have to provide proof.

If you’re curious about a contractor’s proof of credentials, education, and standards and need more information, look no further than our Contractor Standards Guide. It explains everything you need to be aware of, every document you need to see, and every question you need to ask so you can separate the real professionals from the amateurs in branded trucks.

After all, not all contractors are created equal.

 

Premeditated Excellence

Randy Hann

 

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