Things To Know Before Hiring A Contractor

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Recommendations of Things To Know Before Hiring A Contractor

  1. The best way is a referral from a trusted friend. But that’s hard to do as not a lot of people have professional environmental cleanups. The listed contractors on this site have experience, training, correct equipment, and insurance – all important things to have!
  2. It is recommended that you receive at least three written quotes from different qualified contractors. The prices quoted can vary with demand. Yes, a handyman will give you a cheaper quote, but without training and proper equipment can cross contaminate your building using incorrect removal methods – without insurance for you. We always recommend only work that will correct your problem. Please let us know if our recommendations exceed your budget. We often can give you a “band-aid” or temporary solution, until a permanent correction can be done.
  3. Always get the company’s licenses and insurance information and confirm that it is current.  Confirm asbestos licenses here. Confirm lead licenses here.
  4. Provide a copy of our report(s) to your chosen contractors and request they give you a quote for the work outlined. Our reports clearly tell a licensed, trained contractor the recommended abatement/remediation protocol(s) necessary to follow in order to address the contaminant(s) involved in your project. There are lists of recommended environmental contractors needed to successfully complete your project. Contact us if you have additional questions or concerns. We can’t give you an opinion on price as we don’t know.
  5. Always ask for referrals from contractors under your consideration. Call them. Email them. It’s important.
  6. Contractors that we have successfully worked with are listed on our lists. We don’t accept anything from these contractors for inclusion in these lists. This is a courtesy for you. All Environmental Contractors. There are also lists for each specialty: asbestos contractorslead contractors, COVID-19 contractorsmold contractorsVOC contractors, and specialty contractors. Specialty contractors include professionals who conduct activities such as cleaning of HVAC systems, content cleaning, and installation of vapor barrier systems.
  7. Once you have selected a company, feel free to give us their contact information for the project manager, or provide them our contact information. We like to have a short conversation by phone with you and your contractors to go over your project. We will work with any contractor that you choose. For your benefit, please select a licensed, trained contractor that for the type of work you need. General contractors and handymen do no have the equipment or training to complete your project successfully in most cases.
  8. After the contractor’s work has been performed, post abatement/remediation clearance/validation is recommended before re-occupancy or additional repairs are done. We can provide this service it needed or desired. 
  9. Always pay with a method where you can trace the payment if a dispute comes up. The most successful projects pay part of the contract upon signing, with milestone payments along the way. Reverse a fair amount until your project has passed clearance testing. Be clear in the contract who pays for clearance testing if the project fails. Also be clear if you will be charged for additional work if your project fails. Having a written and agreed upon understanding will help resolve issues that may come up.
  10. If any subcontractors are used you must take steps to insure the subs are paid or a Mechanic’s Lien could be placed on your property. This is very important.
  11.  Building permits are usually not needed by remediation or abatement contractors. You will need a permit if you are removing a bearing wall or any other structural part of the building. Contact the SFDBI if you have questions or concerns. Preliminary asbestos testing is usually required before a building permit will be issues.
  12. Check the company ratings on the Better Business Bureau and Yelp reviews.

This guidance will serve you well working with handymen, general contractors, janitorial maintenance, or any other service that you require.

Because environmental cleanup can be like the Wild West, we have created these lists of companies that we have successfully worked with over the last 20 years. We do not accept payment for being placed on this list. When a contractor fails to produce satisfactory results for our clients, we remove that company for these lists.

We are always available to answer questions during and after your job. The one question we can’t answer is “If this price competitive? Fair? Average?” We don’t do any removal so we don’t know the day-to-day costs. That’s why we always recommend getting three quotes for identical work. The you will have an answer to market pricing.

During this time of COVID-19 it is highly recommended that if you see a worker without a mask that you immediately stop the job. You should always have the Project Manager’s name and cell phone. The Project Manager should be called and the lack of masks explained. That should resolve your issue to your satisfaction.


Read more about Asbestos here.

Read more about Lead here.

Read more about Toxic Mold here.

Read more about Drinking Water here.

Read more about VOCs here