Decorative ceiling tiles are very DIY friendly whichever style you choose — styrofoam, faux-tin, or tin. However, you might have a very busy life or have some doubts about your DIY abilities — how do you go about hiring a contractor to tackle the project?
The downturn that the construction industry has been enduring the past several years can be both good and bad for homeowners planning a remodeling project — it may help you to get very competitive pricing for your job, but unfortunately some of the contractors giving estimates may not be entirely qualified. The slowdown has many contractors who may be more proficient at pouring concrete, installing shingles, or putting up vinyl siding looking for any work they can find.
Some of these contractors may have the skills needed to install your decorative ceiling tiles, but working on your home is not the best place to discover whether they do or if they might have been better off sticking to their field of expertise. A few items to check before hiring any contractor to install your tiles:
- References — you may not find a contractor who has installed ceiling tiles in the past, but they should at least have experience with kitchen remodeling, interior trim work, or perhaps installing accoustical ceilings. Ask for a list of prior customers for those types of projects and take the time to make some calls. Keep in mind that you’re not only concerned about the quality of the finished job, but also the contractor’s character — this is someone who may be working inside your home for several days.
- Licenses — most jurisdictions require that someone working as a contractor have a business license. Check with your local town or county to see what their regulations are and make sure your contractor is in compliance.
- Insurance— the contractor should have liability insurance that protects you and your home from any damage they may cause while installing your
decorative ceiling tiles. If they should accidently puncture a plumbing pipe in the ceiling and the water causes significant damage before it can be shut off, you may be forced to foot the repair costs if the contractor doesn’t have an up to date liability policy. Always ask to see a Certificate of Insurance and check the effective dates of the policy.
- Better Business Bureau — it never hurts to check with your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints against your contractor — that’s what they’re there for and they do a pretty good job.
This may seem like a lot of work for hiring a contractor to install a product that’s DIY friendly, but it falls under the heading of “better safe than sorry!”