Q. How do I know if I have a good contractor?
A. Many contractors list organizations they belong to. Anybody can join these organizations. Our recommendation is to call the people they have done work for in the last six months to get a good idea of what they are about today.
Another important tool is to go to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations page and search for a Home Improvement Contractor to see if they have any complaints against them. Go here to look one up now. (Use No. 121604 to look up Quinn’s Construction registration info.)
Q. Should my contractor be licensed and insured?
A. Absolutely. In Massachusetts using an unlicensed contractor who does not obtain the proper building permit will disqualify you from seeking relief if there are problems with your project from the Massachusetts Contractor’s Guaranteed Fund. One of the things about having a properly licensed contractor that obtains the necessary permits is that the contractor has to show the proper license and proof of insurance to obtain the building permit. And you have the added protection of the building inspector checking on the quality of work and compliance with building codes.
Insurance is very important, especially Worker’s Compensation and Liability because if an employee was to have an accident while working on your property, you could be held liable for any expenses associated with any injury or damages.
Q. How does the quality of materials affect my project?
A. The quality of the materials is paramount to the quality of the workmanship. From our experience we made a mistake in trying a new and unproven product that was recommended by salesmen from a major building material supplier that was a $4,000 entrance door that came blemished and damaged to the site. The use of proven and highly recognized products and materials will definitely give you quality, durability, value and peace of mind with your project.
For example, take ice and water barrier: We do a test where we puncture samples with a nail. On one product, the nail slips right out. The other product, which is, like most products we use, recommended by architects and engineers, completely seals around the nail and when the nail is pulled out the sealant comes with it.
Not all pressure treated lumber, trim and framing materials, cedar wood siding and roofing is the same. There are many grades to choose from. Make sure your contractor knows his lumber.
Q. How is your construction company different from all the others?
A. I believe leadership starts at the top, and have built this company with one goal in mind – to provide the best quality, service and value for every project.
I have over thirty-five years of experience and education in the construction business. I got into the trades in the early 70’s and was trained by “old school” ways. I learned how to value pride in workmanship, consistency, and professionalism.
Quinn’s Construction’s priority is to leave every customer delighted that they chose Quinn’s to complete their project.
Quinn’s Construction provides from five year to lifetime manufacturer’s material and labor warranties.
We are focused on environmentally sensitive building practices and on using eco-friendly building materials wherever practical – both in remodeling and in new building construction. Building Green with an awareness of the environmental impact is a philosophy that makes sense for our customers and for our world. Quinn’s Construction views every project as an opportunity to evaluate and potentially reduce environmental impact.
Read about some of the green products and practices we use in our construction and roofing projects and feel free to ask us about any that you don’t see listed on our site.
Q. Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?
A. Yes we are. And we are proud to be a member. As an accredited business in the Better Business Bureau, you can trust Quinn’s Construction to perform its services in an ethical and professional manner. The BBB fosters ethical advertising and selling practices. They alert consumers to bad business and advertising practices and protect consumers by disseminating information through newspapers, radio, television and printed literature.
The Better Business Bureau will provide information about a company before you do business with it, including a final step of binding arbitration in most areas. BBB will provide you with good consumer information so that you can make intelligent buying decisions.
Q. What should a contract consist of?
A. In Massachusetts, M.G.L. c142 A governs all home improvement contracts. There are fourteen detailed items that should be included in your contract. In summary, here are some of the important ones:
- The complete agreement between contractor and owner
- Full names, salespersons, owners
- Date on which work is scheduled to begin
- Date on which work is scheduled to be completed
- Detailed description of work to be done and materials to be used
- Total amount agreed to be paid for the work to be performed
- Time schedule of payments, finance charges.
- No final payment until work is completed
- All parties must sign the contract.
- Contractor’s registration number
- Cancellation clause
- Do not sign clause
- Permit clause
- No acceleration of payment clause
- Signing of the contract clause
- Arbitration clause
Q. What should I be concerned about when repairing or painting my home, which was built before 1978?
A. Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Hire a contractor who is in a Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Find a Lead-Safe Certified Firm near you.
A. Yes. We are proud to say we were certified in 2010.
Q. How can I tell if I have a lead paint issue in my home?
A. Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. You can get your home checked by:
1. A paint inspection.
2. A risk assessment.
It is important to have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure the work is done safely, reliably, and effectively. You can contact theNational Lead Information Center (NLIC) for a list of contacts in your area that will be able to provide the investigative service you need to identify lead paint and give sound advice about its safe removal. For more information about lead paint – hazards and removal – go to the EPA web site.
Q. Are there home tests available for detecting lead paint?
A. Yes, there are home test kits for lead, but they are not always accurate. You should not rely on these tests before doing any renovations or to assure safety. It is best to contact a qualified professional.
Q. Are the new materials such as plastic wood, cement board siding, synthetic slate, colored metals better than the original wood products?
A. Depending upon the application, many of the new products are far superior to the old ones For instance, plastic wood such as Azek is impervious to rot, never needs painting, will not crack or chip, and will last almost forever.
Synthetic slate, although not as attractive as real slate, can provide a roof that will last a lifetime but not need the extra heavy framing, because of its light weight, needed by a regular slate installation.
Q. We’re thinking about installing solar panels on our roof, what should we do to plan for it?
A. First, you should have a roof that will last as long, if not longer, than the life expectancy of your solar roof panels installed first after removing all the original roofing because of the fastening requirements of the solar panels and ice and water barrier should be installed in all areas under solar panels.
While the roof is being done, the framing layout can be done for the solar panel installer.
Q. What areas do you service?
A. We service Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and just about any place in New England, if needed, to take care of our customers.
Q. What type of payments do you accept?
A. All types.
Q. Do you offer financing?
A. Yes. We can arrange financing.
Q. How long from the time I sign the proposal, will it take to get my project started?
A. In all of our contracts there is a start date and finish date section that should be in any contract you sign that meets the legal requirements for construction contracts written in Massachusetts.
Q. How do you prevent ice dam backup?
A. Most ice dams are the result of no ventilation, poor insulation, incorrect roof installation. They can be corrected by making sure you have adequate ventilation and insulation. In some cases the roof design will not accommodate this. The use of metal roof systems will then be your best alternative. The installation of a quality ice and water shield sometimes two layers if needed will also suffice.