The Importance of Vetted Contractor Recommendations
The home improvement and remodeling field is saturated with disappointed homeowners… projects take longer than promised and cost more than quoted. And no matter how well you document every step, it won’t matter unless you’ve hired a reputable person who, in addition to his contractor skills, is also a person of integrity who delivers what he promises, treats people well and consistently performs at or above industry standards. Ethics, reliability and trust can make or break a job, but where can you go for reputable contractor recommendations?
Home remodeling in L.A. today is having a heyday. Because of the housing shortage more people are staying put and remodeling. Coupled with the labor shortage means the contractors are busier than ever. Homeowners are having to wait and prices aren’t just up, they’re uncompromising.
Nowadays a homeowner needs to enter the home remodeling and construction space with eyes-wide-open. Even better, contractor recommendations or a proven track record for sub-contractors all the way up to the general contractor is key to a successful remodel.
Well-intentioned, unsuspecting consumers turn to review sites online, thinking that’s a good place to find good contractor recommendations. What are they actually looking at? They are Pay-To-Play platforms, which means contractors pay to be listed and pay to have their names given out. And, the more the better (for the company). In most cases the reviews aren’t verified, the credentials and qualifications are scant at best, and the referring company has made its money regardless of what happens after homeowners and contractors choose to work together. The business proposition is driven by quantity, not quality. What makes this a place to find good contractors? Where’s the homeowner protection?
In 1999 Slate Ltd opened its doors because a homeowner had been swindled by multiple contractors and decided, enough!…there’s got to be a better way. Unlike Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor, the Slate model states:
- No contractor** can pay to affiliate with Slate, advertise with Slate or pay to have his name given out by Slate. There are no rating or ranking systems driven by money.
- Each contractor must pass a rigorous 16-point pre-screening protocol.
- A contractor can earn Slate’s endorsement based exclusively on merit.
- Slate will sustain a relationship with each affiliated contractor and monitor his* performance to insure ongoing standards are upheld. We are Live and we are Local.
- Slate referrals are custom-tailored to maximize compatibility and ‘fit’ for the homeowner, his project and the contractor.
- Ongoing communication will follow introductions to monitor client satisfaction.
- Slate will sustain its mission of being devoted to quality results for homeowners rather than automated, mass-produced profits. Slate profits are derived from small referral fees the contractor pays to Slate after he has been paid by the homeowner. In other words, if the homeowner is unhappy and doesn’t pay their contractor, Slate is not paid.
- Slate’s founding principles of unwavering commitment to homeowner empowerment, education and advocacy, and quality over quantity, will continue to be the driving principles that guide Slate’s course.
- In Slate’s first 19 years in business it has helped homeowners with more than 7,500 home improvement and residential construction and remodeling projects. Slate has never been sued. (We think that’s quite a record.)
Learn more about our contractor referral service.
*the terms ’guy’ and ‘his’ are used inclusively to apply to all people, regardless of gender.
**in this context ‘contractor’ refers to architects, designers, builders, engineers, general contractors and individual tradesmen.