Vetting a Restoration Company: Three First Steps

Coupled with the housing crisis, economic conditions have caused a perfect storm of interest in restoration contracting. The influx of choices and competition for your business stemming from the amount of new-to-the-industry contractors, can make choosing the right reconstruction contractor a challenge.

Inexperienced contractors may underbid projects without being aware of the costs involved to complete a job. Making the situation worse, many contractors newly clamoring for restoration jobs have residential experience, leaving them less up to the resource allocation and management challenges of a large-scale, commercial restoration project.

Here are three initial steps to consider when looking for a reputable restoration company:

1. Safety First, and Always

Look first at a restoration company's safety record. This will help you determine which will be the best fit for your restoration job and your organization long term. From implementing the proper safety measures to providing critical training, an organization's approach to safety is one of the most important indicators of their efficacy.

Evaluating a company's safety record also identifies how safety is valued within the organization. A reflection of the company culture, a sound safety record is indicative of an organization that has empowered its employees by giving them agency to do their jobs safely while following proper protocol in every response situation. A safety culture should visibly permeate your chosen organization.

2. Experience Matters

Having someone to call who has seen and responded to a variety of incidents can make the difference in how quickly you get critical business operations back on track.

Years of experience in resource handling, workforce allocation, and management allow an expert restoration contractor to respond and get to work immediately, ensuring that you get back to business quickly. Look at how long an organization has been operating and their EMR (experience modification rate) to help you determine competency. The EMR rating assesses the past cost of injury against the future potential for risk and will indicate how low, or high, you can expect your worker compensation insurance premiums to be.

3. Call and Check References

It may seem like common sense, but references often get neglected out of urgency – take the time to place calls and check contractor references when re-evaluating your emergency response plan.

Researching references informs whether the organization will be a good fit for your company, and whether there is potential to establish a long-term relationship. Your goal should be to create a true partnership with the organization you choose so that they are not just a vendor, but a valued member of your team that can offer support at the most crucial moment.

While finding a reputable restoration contractor has become much harder in recent years, using these three simple strategies to start will give you the confidence to find a company you can trust when you need them most.

About the Author: Matt Wenstrom
Matt Wenstrom is the Executive Vice President at Interstate responsible for overseeing the National Catastrophe Team and East Coast territory and sales effort.  Matt's career initially began as a professional athlete playing basketball both in the NBA and European League, but he now leverages all of his team-building skills “off the court” in restoration and construction. With more than 15 years' experience in the industry, Matt understands the ins-and-outs of restoration and what it takes to support businesses and people in times of disaster.