Tuckpointing Chicago Buildings? The Right Questions Lead to the Right Contractor

QuestionYou may be surprised that the state of Illinois does not require masonry or tuckpointing contractors to have a license. Instead the decision to license or not is left up to individual municipalities.  This makes it even more important to do your due diligence when hiring a  contractor to tuckpoint your  buildings. A few strategic questions help you make an informed choice.

1) How long have you been in business?

Should you have a question or problem with your job six months or a year from now, you want a company that’s going to be around to answer your call. Hiring your nephew’s friend who has been laid off from his job may save a couple of bucks, but where will he be in a year?  It’s also easier to check the references and ratings of a long-standing business  vs. someone just picking up a side job.

2) Is your company insured and bonded?

A contractor with employees is required to have workman’s comp insurance  to provide coverage in case someone is hurt or injured on the job.  If a worker is injured while performing the work on your property and the contractor doesn’t have insurance, you could be financially liable to pay for injuries and rehabilitation.

A bond is an insurance policy that guarantees that the contractor will meet his obligations. If a contractor us unable to complete a job, or performs substandard work, the bonding company would provide payment. Most government agencies only work with bonded contractors. Some bonds are designed to protect you against substandard work that does not meet with local building codes.

3)Can you provide references?

It’s shocking how many people hire a contractor without ever checking references. A contractor should be able to produce a list of customers you can call to ask about the quality  of the work, timeliness, and other important factors. Online references or reviews maybe useful, but evaluate them in total rather than getting hung up on one negative review.

4)What is the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?

The Better Business Bureau is a well known organization that tracks complaints against businesses. The BBB accredited business designation is offered to companies that have demonstrated sound business practices and meet certain standards. The BBB assigns letter grades from the A+ (the highest) to F (lowest)  based on the BBB’s opinion of the business.  Factors that go into the rating include information such as the number of complaints, years in business, advertising or licensing issues known to the BBB.

5)Who will be on the job site?

It is important to know who is doing the work and what their experience level is. Will the job be subcontracted out to another firm? Who will supervise the job site?

6)What’s the timetable for completing the work?

Weather can sometimes play havoc on tuckpointing schedules, but it’s important to find out how long the job will take and when you can expect it to be completed. You want as little disruption as possible. If you need workers to come in off-peak hours to avoid inconvenience to customers, be sure to let the contractor informed.

Choosing the right contractor doesn’t have to be a a time-consuming chore. If you have your questions organized it should be easy to get the information you need. Click here to learn more about Shamrock Tuckpointing.


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About the Owner


John Gallagher

John Gallagher learned the craft of tuckpointing while in his late teens. His father, a first generation Irish immigrant and construction worker, encouraged his son’s entrepreneurial spirit. John earned a business degree from Loras College, and soon afterward he founded Shamrock Tuckpointing.

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