Categories Before You Hire

How to find a Good Contractor?



How many times has someone asked, if you knew a good contractor they could use? (Roofing, plumbing, drywall, paint, electrical, ect. The list goes on and on.) People ask me all the time.

Now since I am in the construction business, I do have some connections with whom I feel comfortable referring. However, if I don’t know a contractor personally, I will not refer them.

This is because the last thing I want to do is suggest someone who doesn’t do good work.  Guess who the person I refer is going to be mad at if my referral doesn’t work out?  You got it, me.  Been there, done that.

(I got myself in enough trouble as a teenager to know that sometimes saying nothing is better than saying anything at all…)

No one wants to work with someone who does a bad job.  (At least no one I’ve ever met…) People want a contractor, or anyone they do business with, to be honest, timely and skilled in their craft. The good news is it’s 2019.  That means it’s easier than ever to find a good contractor to do business with!


The Trouble With “Word of Mouth” Referrals

In my opinion the best way to determine whether a contractor is good or not, is still by word of mouth. However, the problem with word of mouth referrals, is your options are heavily restricted by who your close contacts know in a particular line of work.  Also, imagine if you needed something obscure, like rats removed from your crawlspace.

(I know that’s a bit dramatic but stick with me here…)  Chances are no one at church knows anyone who does rat removal. Even if they did you probably aren’t wanting to broadcast to your small group that you currently have a rat infestation under your house. (You know how people at church talk sometimes…) That’s why researching a contractor’s online reviews is another great option to determine whether they are worth hiring or not.


Big Advancements in Online Research

In the past crooked contractors could easily get away with doing bad work.  Back then unhappy customers didn’t have a platform where they could express their displeasure to a larger audience.

Now a days the internet serves as the ultimate platform.  Past and present customers are able to let each other know whether a contractor did good work, or not.  What a marvelous time to be a consumer!


In the Past

Imagine if you lived in Indianapolis in 1995 and a contractor you were working with did an awful job.  Even worse, let’s say he made no effort to try and make it right.  Back then you could tell your family, friends and neighbors, but more than likely that contractor wouldn’t have been affected by your dissatisfaction.  His pool of business would have been so large that a small trail of unhappy customers wouldn’t affect his bottom line.


Present Day

Fast forward to 2019.  If that same contractor gave you the run around now, the power is in your hands. You now have the ability to broadcast your negative experience with hundreds of thousands of people in an instant. (Good for you, bad for him…)

Websites like Google Reviews, Angie’s List, Yelp, Home Advisor and Facebook have allowed customers to share their experiences with one another.

By doing this you and your fellow consumers can promote good contractors and expose bad ones.  What a powerful tool that is!  Ill give you some free advice, use it to your advantage.  (Don’t be the guy or girl who throws their back out lifting a heavy box when a dolly was sitting right there the whole time…)


Online Research Tips

The best part about these online resources are they aren’t mutually exclusive.  If you are looking for a contractor I’d encourage you to see what previous customers had to say about them on multiple websites before you hire them.  Also, just because someone refers you to a contractor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go and check them out for yourself.

Keep in mind that a contractor may have a high rating, however if they only have 1 review that isn’t enough in my opinion to prove that they do a good job.  (A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while…) You want to find someone who has a high rating, with a lot of reviews, over a long period of time.  (Like Restorex Disaster Restoration for example. 😊) Consistency is key.


Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Just because a contractor has a big reputation and good commercials doesn’t mean they also do a good job.  In my experience the companies you identify as major players in a given industry are often the worst ones to hire. Here’s why:

Advertising is expensive.  The contractors who are on billboards, radio and TV in your local area spend a lot of money for that exposure.  As a result, they have to charge more for their services than smaller companies to make up for that cost.  Furthermore, since they are able to afford such a large audience they will continue to get business whether they do a good job or not.  New customers will continue to call them because they identify with their brand, not because they’ve heard, seen or experienced how good they are at what they do.

You don’t have to take my word for it though. (Reading Rainbow Shout-out) See what people had to say online about some of the most recognizable contractors in your area.  Their previous customers may not share the same warm and bubbly experience as the paid actress on their awesome commercial.


Good Things Come in Small Packages 

When I’m hiring a contractor I look for a small company with good reviews where the owner also does the work.  (With maybe a helper or two)  In the construction business we call these contractors “owner operators.”

The reason I hire these guys over large companies or franchises isn’t because I’m just a super nice guy. (Even though I think I’m decently nice…) The real reason is because in my opinion you get a superior service at a more affordable price.

Contractors who are owner operators rely on their reputation to sustain and create business for themselves.  They don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertising out there to attract new customers.

As a result, if they don’t do a good job no one is going to call them back or refer them to a friend.  Also, since these contractors don’t have huge advertising budgets, large warehouses or fancy trucks, they don’t have to charge you as much for their services as the bigger guys. (That is what I like to call a winner winner chicken dinner.)


Free Advice Alert!

In closing, my best advice, is to hire a contractor who does quality work at an affordable price because their livelihood depends on it.  Big companies and franchises are going to continue to get business whether they do a good job or not.  If you do your research and go with a smaller company you’re going to have a good experience with the contractor you hire. I guarantee it!



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Categories Before You Hire

Water Damage Restoration in Greenwood Indiana

Restorex Disaster Restoration helped a customer with water damage in Greenwood Indiana that was caused by a dishwasher. The water damage affected the kitchen floor and the basement ceiling below the kitchen.  Restorex was able to dry a wood sub-floor affected by water damage with a slate floor installed on top of it.  Below are some pictures of the water damage restoration process.


We made the decision to dry the slate floor in place after discussing the situation with the home owner and the insurance adjuster.  The slate floor was installed all through the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, and bathroom.  If we removed the small amount of slate that was affected, there was potential that all the flooring would have to be removed and replaced.  The home owner didn’t want to go through the demolition process and the insurance adjuster wanted to restore the water damage the most efficient way possible.

The multiple layered floor was approximately 2 in thick and the total affected area of floor was 100 square feet. We used a 220 volt heater and a plastic containment in the basement to provide the heat energy necessary to dry the water damage below the wood floor. We used a small electric heater and a small plastic containment upstairs in the Kitchen to provide heat from the top side of the slate.

We dried the kitchen floor for 5 days getting the temperature of as high as 134 degrees. These pictures show the equipment set up and a few readings during the water damage restoration process. We set stainless steel screws in the sub-floor approximately 3/4″ to read the surface between the sub-floor and concrete backer board, to ensure that we properly dried the floor all the way through. The moisture content started above 40 percent on our moisture meters but decreased to between 8 and 17 percent throughout the affected areas.



Categories Before You Hire

What is a Preferred Vendor or Contractor?

A preferred vendor or contractor is a company that has signed an agreement with an insurance provider or third-party administrator to provide water mitigation or repair services for homeowner’s they insure.  The agreements require the contractors to have proper insurance, trained staff and technicians and follow certain criteria designated by the insurance provider or third-party administrator.


The Pros

Most of these items are good for the homeowner because it requires the contractor to be legitimate enough to have the proper insurance, training, and expertise to mitigate your damage and settle your claim.  The problem lies in the “extra criteria” the insurance provider or third-party administrator puts on the contractor.


The Cons

These “criteria” can handcuff a contractor working in your home because of the limitations set by the program.

The insurance company could limit decisions made by the contractors, types of equipment or methods used by the contractor, the programs may increase “red tape” during the water mitigation or repair process, making the contractor focus more on paperwork than providing quality service, or the contractor will agree to lower rates for their services to participate in the preferred program.

Due to these restrictions, some preferred contractors will cut corners or provide inferior service to the homeowner out of necessity.  They also may side more with the insurance company in a dispute on the scope damage.



Some insurance company’s “highly recommend” their preferred vendors while other insurance company’s do not run a preferred vendor program.  In the end, the homeowner has the power to hire any contractor they wish.  Our recommendation to any homeowner is to research the reputation of the restoration contractor online before they hire them.  Just because the contractor is recommended by the insurance company doesn’t mean they are the best option.  It is always good for a homeowner to be properly informed before they hire a water mitigation contractor.




Categories Before You Hire

Do I need Multiple Estimates before Hiring a Water Damage Contractor?

Do I need multiple estimates before hiring a water mitigation contractor? The short answer to this question is no, but as in all aspects of life it can be more complicated than that.

Insurance Company

From the insurance company’s stand point they want home owners to get water damage taken care of ASAP. Waiting for a contractor, or multiple contractors to submit estimates and go through the approval process delays the cleanup and dryout. This in turn can lead to further damage (ruined building materials, musty odors, mold damage, ect.) and further damage can lead to more money out of their pockets.

Water Mitigation Contractor

From the water mitigation contractors stand point it’s hard to predict every single aspect of a job before work begins. Imagine if the original plan is to remove wet drywall. However, when you go to tear it out the wall cavity that’s exposed is covered in black mold. Situations like this complicate a job and require additional work that wasn’t part of the original plan.

Contractor and Insurance Company Working Together

As a result, insurance companies allow water mitigation contractors to bill them directly after the cleanup and dryout is complete, using an estimating system called Xactimate. (Click Here is read about Xactimate) This way the insurance company gets a quick response which minimizes damage, and the contractor can submit one comprehensive estimate that includes all the work that was required. Win + win = best friends.

Insurance Coverage Warning

WARNING: As we learned previously in our article, “Will my insurance Company Pay for my Water Damage”, not all water damage is covered by your insurance company. ALWAYS talk to your insurance company and get DETAILS about your coverages before you hire a contractor to do the cleanup and dryout. While you don’t need an upfront estimate, you do need to be sure you have full coverage. If you skip this step you could be on the hook for whatever the insurance company doesn’t approve. NOTE: Just because you call and get a claim number doesn’t mean you’re covered. Don’t be the guy or gal that has a water mitigation contractor come out on a Saturday night to clean up your flooded basement just to find out on Monday morning that your coverage was denied or limited. Lose + lose = major dues.




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