What is the difference between in-house crews and subcontractors?
In-house crews are a dying breed due to the overall cost. In order to have in-house crews, the company must have all the crew members covered on their worker’s comp which is extremely costly. It is not enough just to have worker’s comp listed on your license. Ask the company for a copy of their coverage, so you can ensure that the crew working on your property is actually covered under their worker’s comp. They should be able to provide you with an agent’s phone number, and you should do your own homework on the company’s actual coverage as opposed to their stated coverage. Also, if the company has in-house crews, they would own all of their own equipment (i.e. bobcat, dump trucks, plate compactors, saws, etc.), which is also very expensive to own and maintain.
Nearly all paver companies use subcontractors, due to the efficiency and cost savings. It just doesn’t make business sense to have a crew on payroll when you can subcontract the work out when there is work to be done. Claiming that a company uses in-house crews is a common sales tactic, but don’t be fooled. If you do your research, you will find out that the crew is really a subcontractor, or worse yet, unlicensed workers. In that case, if anyone were to get hurt on your property who is not covered, the burden reverts back to your homeowner’s insurance.
Are the contractors with Install-It-Direct licensed and bonded?
Yes, not only is Install-It-Direct Licensed (CA Lic.#947643), but all contractors listed on Install-It-Direct are also licensed, bonded and fully insured. You have double coverage when you go with Install-It-Direct.
Does Install-It-Direct have worker’s comp and General Liability Insurance?
Yes, Install-It-Direct is fully insured. We have worker’s compensation insurance, as all licensed contractors must carry if they have employees (i.e. sales reps, receptionist, etc.). We also carry General Liability Insurance. All crews listed with Install-It-Direct also carry worker’s comp and General Liability Insurance.
What is a Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS)?
A home improvement salesperson (HIS) is defined in the law, Section 7152, as a person who is employed by a licensed contractor to solicit, sell, negotiate or execute contracts under which home improvements may be performed, a swimming pool constructed, or home improvement goods or services installed or furnished.
Who must register as a HIS with the CSLB (contractors state license board)?
If you solicit, sell, negotiate or execute home improvement contracts for a licensed contractor outside the contractor’s normal place of business (regardless of the dollar amount of those contracts) you must obtain your HIS with the CSLB.
Who would be exempt from obtaining a Home Improvement Salesperson License (HIS)?
If you are listed as a part of the CSLB’s official personnel records for the contractor’s license. This includes individual contractors, partners, officers of the corporation and responsible managing employees.
How do I verify if the salesperson that came out to my house is registered with the CSLB and has obtained their HIS?
First look up their License # (check license number here) and check to see if the individual is an owner, partner, officer of the corporation or responsible managing employee of the company which would supersede the HIS License as the individual has passed all background checks and is legally able to solicit, sell, negotiate or execute home improvement contracts. If the individual is not listed as the owner, partner, officer of the corporation or responsible managing employee of the company then they must obtain their HIS License to be on your property. You can verify whether the individual has obtained their HIS License here (check license number here).
Why should I choose Install-It-Direct over a big brand name company?
If you want to pay more (mostly likely a lot more), then go with a Brand Named Marketing Company; however, if you are interested in getting the same product and having the best crews in all of Southern California install your project at a fraction of the cost, then Install-It-Direct is the way to go.
How does Install-It-Direct eliminate the middleman?
The middleman refers to many factors; all of which drive the price of your project higher and higher. A few of them include: the crafty salesperson working to land a big commission check, the unnecessary middle management, the enormous marketing budgets, and other unnecessary overhead. Install-It-Direct doesn’t believe in sneaky sales tactics.
In fact, we don’t have sales people at all. We offer free professional design consultations where we look to add beauty and value to your home. By going direct, you receive volume pricing directly from the best installation crews in Southern California without any fluff or hidden costs, which other companies include to pay for all their middlemen.
Should I just choose a company with an A+ BBB rating?
It depends on many factors. A higher score does not necessary correlate with the quality and service of a company. A higher score has a lot to do with the length of time a company has been in business and the number of complaints filed against the company.
There is a big caveat here. When you join the BBB, they take your stated business start date. What does this mean? This means that you can state whatever date you want as your start date. Yes, you can fabricate a start date. Make sure you cross reference a company’s alleged start date with the date they obtained their Contractor’s License.
It is illegal for any company to contract work over $500 without a valid contractor’s license. So, if a company states that they have been in business longer than their contractor’s license issue date, then they have been operating illegal and could face large fines and/or jail time.
There are a lot of companies operating right now that have fluffed their numbers to make it seem like they are more established and increase their BBB rating, however, it is up to you as the consumer to do your own due diligence and find out the truth.
Should I always choose a company that has been in business the longest?
There are very few companies in Southern California that have been in business actively and legally for more than nine years. Additionally, approximately 10 years ago, nearly every company switched from in-house crews to subcontractors due to the cost.
What does this mean? This means that if a company has been in business longer than 10 years, they do not have the same crews working for them as they did on day one. As a result, their experience is tied to the subcontractors, not the company. A company is only as good as the people they have on their team. Since the majority of companies use subcontractors to do the work, you will really want to know how many years the subcontractor has been in business.
Install-It-Direct has hand selected only the most experienced crews in the industry. We back up our claims by providing our customers with a 2-year warranty.
How do I choose the right paver or artificial grass company?
Educating yourself on the companies you are requesting quotes from is a great place to start. Knowing a company’s history and reputation is just as important as comparing price points.
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process: