By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Home Improvement | Issue: September 2010
Hollie and Doug Cole of Cole’s Quality Construction share some tips on what to ask before hiring a contractor to work on your home or business.
When you are shopping for a company to do a new construction, addition, or remodel of your home or business, what are the questions you ask? According to Doug Cole, owner of Cole’s Quality Construction, many people do not ask any questions at all; however, it is extremely important to do your research before hiring a contractor. Do they have insurance? Are they licensed? Are they willing to provide references?
Doug explains that it’s critical to ask these questions in order to protect you and your money. “I recently worked with a client who had gotten ripped off $10,000 or more because she had not done her research,” he explains. “Even the phone book lists contractors who say they have insurance and are licensed professionals, even if it’s not true. You really have to do your research and make a few calls to check on these things.”
Before you hire a contactor, Doug also suggests asking for references from their satisfied customers, as well as photographs of past projects. “This gives you a real feel of what you’re getting yourself into. A lot of times people will choose the least expensive option, but that does not mean they will provide good quality work.”
Another thing Doug says to look for is a detailed proposal. “This assures that there are no surprises and no cutting corners. Often contactors will bid a job very cheap, and then charge the homeowner for a lot of additional work that wasn’t in their contact.”
Overall, communication is key, says Doug. “You want to work with a contactor who will communicate with you through every step of the job, whether it is big or small. I’ve had many customers who told me they hired someone to do a job and never saw that person again – only the sub-contactors that had been hired.”
When Doug is hired for a new construction, remodel or addition, he does all of the work himself, except for electrical, plumbing and HVAC work. For these tasks, he uses reliable sub-contractors who are licensed and insured.
Doug meets with his new clients and walks through the home or business to find out exactly what they want. “Sometimes a customer isn’t exactly sure what they’re looking for, so I will do some research and bring back the info they need – color charts, stain charts, types of wood they want.” Doug then writes a thorough contact, so there are no surprises to the client. “It’s important for the homeowners to be involved in the whole process. They are the ones who live with these choices every day.”
If you’re confused about insurance options, Doug can help explain your different choices. For example, if someone is adding on to their house, he recommends getting builder’s risk insurance. “It’s inexpensive, and it provides additional coverage during an add-on. Once the construction is completed, you can just cancel it from your policy.”
Doug Cole has been in the construction business for over 20 years. He works on both commercial and residential projects, interiors and exteriors – kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, painting, doors, siding, decks, windows, chimneys, gutters, trim, insulation and more.
Cole’s Quality Construction is a company based on integrity and family values. In fact, Doug’s wife, Hollie, and their two sons, Jonathan and Joshua, often work with him on job sites to make sure every bit of debris is cleaned up. This also helps keep overhead low so that prices stay reasonable.
Doug is happy to provide current references, and he has plenty of photos of the projects he has done. If you’re in the market to convert, remodel, add on or newly construct a home or business, give him a call at (918) 859-3233. No job is too big or small.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.