A list of 7 important questions to ask potential Contractor's BEFORE hiring them!

A list of 7 important questions to ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them.

1) First and foremost when considering hiring any type of Contractor;

Are they licensed & insured?  Does their business Bond cover your particular jurisdiction/city/state, and is it current?  Checking for proper license & insurance requirements is something that should always be done prior to hiring a Contractor of any type, but is an absolute MUST when talking about hiring a Gas Line Installation Contractor. Using quality products & installation tools and ensuring all inspections are completed greatly lessens the chances of anything catastrophic happening to your home after a Contractor provides services. When considering about potential installation issues, you’re more likely to see structural damage from holes drilled in the wrong place on a beam or floor joist, or water lines accidentally cut during the job that didn’t get noticed right away and caused some water damage. Even those relatively small repairs can add up quickly! Who’s paying for the very rare but still costly repairs if there's any damage to the home during the remodel process? If a contractor can’t afford insurance & bonding, what makes you think they can afford to cover the costs of damage to your home??

For explanation purposes, I'm going to use a Gas Line Installation Contractor as an example for the remainder of this article. All of these guidelines apply to ANY type of Contractor! 

2) What Brand of Gas Pipe Machine do they use for threading?

Why would a question about equipment used be an important thing to ask a potential gas line installation contractor?

Because you shouldn't have to pay for a Contractor who chooses to use inferior tools!

Inferior tools = additional time on the job = additional labor costs.

How quickly a Contractor sets up for the job is directly related to your final invoice. In this instance, how long it takes for a gas pipe threading machine to be setup and how fast it actually threads gas pipe are too variables that cannot be changed no matter how hard the Contractor works. If they’re using an obsolete gas pipe threading machine that requires full assembly and disassembly at each and every job, that’s going to add at least 30 minutes of extra labor to each job. If their machine isn’t self-oiling and cuts threads at a much slower rate than a top of the line self-oiling pipe threader, that’s also going to add additional labor time. Who do you think is paying for all those additional gas line installation labor costs??? (click to read more about Gas Line Installation Costs!)

3) What other services does their company offer?

Are they a “Jack of all trades and master of none” company?  Maybe the large plumbing company down the road also installs gas piping, but isn’t their primary focus on water plumbing? Water plumbing carries its own costs of insurance, training, certification, not to mention a large inventory of fittings & tools and if they’re a larger company than they also have a larger office & sales staff on their payroll. This is where you would be ahead to get an estimate from a specialized gas piping installation company.  A specialized gas piping company won’t have the same high overhead as a company that carries licensing, tools, training, staff and marketing for several primary services. Another advantage of hiring specialty companies; since they’re only purchasing & installing gas piping, they tend to get much better pricing on materials. Lower materials costs along w typically much lower overhead = lower Installation prices.

4) What brand of CSST (Corrugated stainless steel tubing) do they provide & install?

Flexible gas piping comes in many brands and unfortunately many levels of quality. Gas line installation is NOT a place to cut corners, so make sure the company you’re hiring is using top of the line flexible gas piping (CSST). Cheap flexible gas piping is easily penetrated by nails, screws, heck I’ve even seen picture hangers puncture the cheap stuff!

Make sure the Gas Line Installation Contractor is only using TOP Brands of CSST (flexible gas piping) such as Gastite’s Flash Shield CSST which has the highest safety rating in the industry!

 

 

Hot tip: Gastite & Tracpipe are currently the only two brands of piping that meet all the lightning strike safety requirements and provide significantly higher quality arc resistant outer jackets. Yes, it might cost a few bucks more than “Home-Flex” purchased at Home Depot,  but it’s going to be installed in your home so you need to know your family will be safe for the life of the home!

5) Do they have a decent looking website, and at least a few social media sites with reasonable followings?

Is the full company information including license number posted on the website & social media sites? Why is this so important you ask? I’ve recently had a contractor stiff me out of a $2,700 warranty repair on their work! Ouch!! They had a website, albeit very “homemade” looking. But nowhere on their marketing did it list the owner’s first name or much less last name nor any pertinent company information such as their business license number, so when I tried to contact the company to honor a warranty issue and they had closed down their doors, I had zero information to help me find the owner or make a claim against their Bond.

6) Keeping on the same theme as #1 & #5, is their company name, business license number, and Owners Name clearly posted on their work vehicles?

 

First of all, ALL company marketing materials including vehicles with company logos & graphics MUST list the companies license information by law!  Look, if they either can’t afford or just plain don’t want to post their full company name, license and owners name on their vehicles, then what makes you think they’re going to be anxious to pay for potential warranty issues with your home?  Warranty issues happen, if a contractor does make a mistake, that doesn’t necessarily make them a bad contractor, we all make mistakes.  A true measure of the morals of a business is how they handle mistakes!

 

7) Read the reviews!!

Take the time to search the Internet for reviews of potential gas line installation contractors. Now keep in mind, you need to take negative reviews w a grain of salt, especially if there’s only 1 or 2 negative reviews and lots of positive reviews. It is literally impossible to please everyone, there will always be that one grumpy customer that no matter how hard you tried to make them happy, they were predetermined to be upset with you and probably every other contractor they’ve ever hired. Or the customer with completely unrealistic expectations and a lot of free time on their hands “I called Sunday evening for a quote and nobody replied to my message until Monday morning- 1 star”. Contractors just love those ones lol.  However, if you see 20 negative reviews and only 1 or 2 positive reviews, run the other way and find another Contractor! If you do see 1 or 2 negative reviews, take the time to read them and the owners response if it’s available, see if the owner dealt with the negative reviews appropriately.  Bottom line for tip # 7, take a few minutes to search for reviews on prospective gas line installation companies before calling, you could save yourself a lot of headache and frustrations.


We hope you’ve learned a thing or 7 about asking the right questions before hiring a Gas Line Installation Contractor.

If you would like to read about some more informative articles, here’s a few we think you would enjoy:

Average Gas Line Installation Costs, what you should expect to pay for having new gas lines installed in your home

Underground Gas Piping using Polyurethane Gas Line, a short but informative write-up on underground gas piping using flexible poly

Planning for an Outdoor Entertainment Area at your Home? Should you hire a General Contractor??

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Comment by Jeremiah Doty on March 22, 2018 at 7:14pm

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