When it comes to contract work like glass storefront door repairs and installation, in this industry, just about anyone can set up shop and call themselves a “professional repairman.” But a word to the wise: there are restrictions in California about the jobs a “handyman” can do. Real contractors are licensed and insured. An unlicensed handyman cannot bill a project for more than $500. Getting a new exterior door installation on your storefront costs significantly more than $500, and any door repair or maintenance, while it might cost more than that handyman, protects your business and lets you rest assured the work is being done well and in good faith.
Honestly, even if your storefront door repair won’t cost that much, you want a licensed contractor. They are legally and ethically bound to follow certain procedures and maintain certain permitting that ensures you don’t get scammed by a shoddy repair, or become liable for any injuries resulting from an accident while they’re working at your facility. Consult the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 8, Article 3 for further information. Actually, for any business owner constructing or repairing their facility, whether new or existing, all of Article 3 is a great reference for what to expect with contractors of all kinds.
Incompetent door installers can leave you with some serious problems, including gaps, doors out of plumb, or doors that rub or are out of plane. A botched door installation not only looks bad, but presents security risks, safety risks and compromises your energy efficiency.
In the long run, you’ll be better off hiring a licensed contractor for all commercial door installations and repairs; professional door companies are where you’ll find the skilled technicians you need to do an installation or repair properly.
Sub-Par Service Risks more than the Look of Your Business Storefront
Many homeowners and business owners will inevitably go the less expensive route and hire a handyman with a few tools, or use someone on their maintenance staff to hang doors. Unfortunately, in the case of the handyman, you could be opening yourself up to a botched job, or else a scam where the installer takes your money and disappears. Or if you’ve asked your maintenance staff to handle it, you could be looking not only at a bungled job and expensive overtime costs, but if an accident were to happen in the process, now you’re dealing with a workman’s comp claim as well. While laws prohibit this type of fraudulent behavior, it’s another story when it comes to preventing it; it’s not at all difficult for these guys to fly under the radar. The news is full of reports of service and repair fraud of all types, from roofs to garages to lawn services.
Maybe while you were researching a company you’ve thought to do business with, you noticed numerous negative online reviews about it, as well as a poor rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And yet, the company is still in operation. If you’re a small business or you have a small family-owned shop; heed these warning signs. You probably don’t have the funds or the time to waste on fly-by-night repairs. Online ratings are really important – it’s crowd-sourcing a reference. If you notice negative reviews on the quality of their door installation and services, or claims about hidden fees, unlicensed technicians or inexperienced staff, steer your search another way.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business from contractor fraud.
Protect Your Business: Choose the Right Commercial Door Installer
Follow these steps before you hire a contractor to install your exterior or storefront door:
- Make a list of the companies you’re interested in working with. You can search for them online or ask for recommendations from your business associates, friends and others.
- Check the companies’ online reviews, including Yelp, Angie’s List and Google Business, which offer local search services powered by crowd-sourced review forums. Take note of the number of good vs. bad reviews. However, be aware that good or bad reviews may be plants. Use your critical thinking skills as you read the reviews; it’s probably best to avoid those companies with numerous bad reviews.
- (If applicable) Call the Better Business Bureau, a well-known nonprofit organization that rates business from A+ to F, based on different criteria. BBB is also an intermediary for consumer complaints: businesses must respond to and address the complaint to prevent a negative rating. You can view these complaints and the company’s responses on the BBB’s website.
- Ask for references. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of consultants, call each and ask for references, then call them. Ask if the job was completed satisfactorily, on budget and on time.
- Once you’ve begun interviewing companies, ask about insurance for liability and property, requesting proof. Insurance will protect you if damages to your property occur, or if someone is injured during the work.
- Ask if the company is bonded. Bonding helps protect you if the contractor fails to finish the job or damages your property. If either occurs, you can file a claim. Obtain a bond number or look it up online to verify the company’s status.
- Ask for a quote. While it’s not feasible to get an exact quote for a job, as unseen problems can always arise, the technician should be able to provide you with a range.
This might seem like a lot of work on your part when you’re looking for someone to do the hard work for you. But it’s better to put the time into thorough research than to risk any of the awful potentials of hiring a bad company or an amateur repairman to handle a complicated and expensive exterior storefront door install. If you’re investing in a commercial door installation, the devil is in the details, so flesh them out before you write that check. SACS DOOR & GATE CORP. is a trusted, experienced, transparent and quality company. Research us; our grades, reviews and testimonials will speak for themselves.