Picking the right glass company can make the difference in your remodeling project. Here are a few points to consider in your decision-making process
1.Check the BBB web site (or call them) and research the company. BBB’s primary function is to help you figure out who the bad guys are. It is amazing that it is used so infrequently.
2. Check with your local Contractors State License Bureau. This should tell you if they have a license (so will BBB) and if they are in good standing. It may also tell you what they have for insurance (e.g. liability, workers comp, state mandated bond). It may also tell you when they were started and alert you to recent ownership changes. You may also find that their license is under suspension!
3. Social Networking. There are dozens of sites out there (of varying degrees of reliability) that will give you ratings on your potential glass companies. Unlike BBB these results can be padded by unscrupulous companies. In theory, they are responses by other consumers like you. Mixed in with that are disgruntled employees, competitors filing false reports and the companies themselves padding the reports.
4. Angie’s List. Angie’s List is a social networking site that you, the consumer pay a modest fee to join. Postings to the site are ALL reviewed by Angie and her staff and can only be entered by other members. Angie’s members are encouraged to rate everyone they use as a vendor.
5. How long have they been in business and do they have a showroom. In economic tough times, as shops close, many of their employees will start working out of their garage. Great for a cheap price — but not so good if you need warranty work or replacement parts.
6. Industry affiliations. Industry affiliations like the NGA (National Glass Association) AGA (America’s Glass Association), give an indication that the company cares about and invests in their industry and in doing quality work. Membership in the BBB, especially with a high rating, is another good sign.
7. What is your opinion of the companies’ representative. Did he or she ask good questions, arrive on time and seem to care about what YOU want? Were they knowledgeable about their products and your project? If not, move on.
8. Look for companies who give you choices. If they only carry one brand, what makes you think it is the best fit for you?
9. Beware the low bidder. If you shop based on the lowest price, don’t be surprised if the quality matches the price. Ask the bidders about what differences there might be. Remember, low quality will be with you for a lot longer that the few dollars you might save on the low bid.
10. Finally, when the job is all done, use the mechanisms listed above to reward the glass company with a favorable rating or to warn others to stay away. The Better Business Bureau and the Contractors State License Bureau can assist you in settling any dispute.