No matter what time of year, every homeowner has a list of repairs and maintenance waiting to be tackled. Smaller projects need nothing more than elbow grease and a few free hours, but others are best completed by a professional contractor.
Contractors know more than just building. They help obtain required permits and handle all aspects of a project, from demolition and disposal to fine details and custom finishes. But how do you know who to call, much less hire? Let the pros at Sunset Air help you out.
For more than 40 years, Olympia’s Sunset Air has sold, installed, and maintained everything from heating and air conditioning to solar panels and generators. They also offer windows, doors, fireplaces, and provide free estimates on all of their many services.
But their long, local history means they’re also skilled at helping customers find the right general contractor for any job, big or small. “We meet customers who ultimately bought just on price,” says Windows and Doors Division Manager Bill Krier. “They’re told go get three bids but there’s so much more to it.”
“One of the things we try to help our prospective customers and clientele to understand is that there is a process to hiring the right contractor,” shares Bill. “When you’re hiring someone to do any type of work in your home, remember that it’s your money and your home. Be sure you get everything in writing, ask all the questions that are on your mind, and clearly understand the answers you receive.”
The specifics of your ideal contractor will vary depending on the job. Some general contractors can do it all but many specialize in a specific aspect of renovation and repair. But there are two primary things to look for, says Bill, which can save time, money, and a huge homeowner headache.
Stability is more than just longevity. It also covers having an active business license and the correct amount of up-to-date liability insurance.
Bill admits that sometimes shadier contractors will “open and close their doors multiple times to avoid past customer complaints. Naturally, some businesses will be legitimately new. If so, you should ask for a 10-year work history of the owner.”
Liability insurance covers all manner of accident or injury on your property during renovation. Make sure your chosen contractor has enough so you don’t pay out of pocket should tragedy strike. “To protect yourself and your property,” says Bill, “insist on seeing a current copy of the business license and insurance coverage, do not assume or take their word on it. See it in writing.”
Thanks to internet reviews, it’s much easier to check on a company’s reputation these days. But it always pays to do a little extra digging.
One way is to see if they belong to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or local Chambers of Commerce. For BBB searches, look for company accreditation. “This is different from being a member of the BBB,” says Bill. “Anyone can be a member, but to be accredited means you have had them come into your company, they have talked with customers, gone into your finances, and seen that the business has complied with all their regulations.”
Warranties are often a good sign. If they guarantee their work, it means they’re confident because work done twice—or parts replaced—are lose/lose for everyone.
Home repairs can be misleading. A leaky pipe or dripping faucet is not only costing you money as water goes down the drain, but can cause wooden cabinets and floors to buckle, warp, and mold. Old or broken windows mean lost heat and higher energy bills year round.
Thanks to Sunset Air’s four decades of experience, they’ve seen it all. Better yet, they’ve built, installed, and improved it all. Let them help guide you through your home repair journey. Whether pre-sale home improvements or just checking items off an endless honey-do list, technicians are always willing to help.
Start by finding a list of Sunset Air service areas on their website. Then schedule service or request an estimate online or give them a call at 360-456-4956. Their free handbook will be available soon and Bill and the team are always happy to offer pointers.