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Code of Ethics & Competency

Contractor Standards Guide How To Choose The Right Contractor... The First Time.

Compliments of

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Table of Contents 4

Stability, Company Tangibles

5

Bank Letter

6

Supplier Letter

7

Insurance Certificate

8

Business License

9

Reputation, Membership

10

Customer References

12

Accolades

13

Professionalism, No Sales Pressure Agreement

14

Worker Conduct Agreement & Jobsite Cleanup Roster

15

Workmanship, High-Quality Materials

16

Jobsite Photos

20

No-Nonsense Materials & Workmanship Warranty

21

Finishing Products

21

No Subcontractors & Lead Paint Certification

22

Frequently Asked Questions

23

Contractor Standards Checklist

Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


“I Was Shocked And Embarrassed When I Found Out That Contractors Were America’s #1 Most Complained About Industry.” Matt Croteau, General Manager

How To Ensure Your Job Gets Done Right... The First Time! Dear Homeowner,

Industry Standards Weren’t Tough Enough

So you’re thinking about a major home improvement project? Congratulations! When done properly, a home renovation project will make your home more enjoyable now and increase its value over time. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard the horror stories about home improvement gone bad—unfinished projects, shoddy workmanship, longer-than-expected project durations, final bills that come in higher than the quote, and more. We were shocked and embarrassed to find out that, according to Better Business Bureau statistics, contractors are the #1 most complained about industry, even ahead of auto repair.

We wanted to find a way to educate consumers about how to choose a home improvement contractor. The industry standards just aren’t tough enough—just about anybody with a hammer and a pickup truck can be a contractor. That’s why we’ve pioneered a set of standards called the Code of Ethics & Competency for Contractors. The Code calls for contractors to uphold a high set of standards that will allow you to judge BEFOREHAND whether or not a contractor is likely to do the job right. This guide specifies those standards.

We’ve always done a good job and treated our customers right. And we’ve been able to build a nice business because of it. But we’ve noticed over the years that some consumers will choose less-than-reputable companies to do jobs for them—usually because they are quoted less money. Don’t get us wrong—we’re all for good, honest competition. But it pains us to see good folks risk their hard earned money with contractors who have no track record—or worse, a bad (but hidden) track record.

Before you hire any company to work on your home, make sure you consult this guide and INSIST that the company comply with EVERY SINGLE STANDARD in this book. If you do, chances are excellent that you’ll get exactly what you want out of your project. Sincerely,

Matt Croteau Matt Croteau General Manager Re·Bath® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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You need to make sure that any contractor you do business with has proven themselves in the past, and will be there if you need them in the future. Don’t just ASK the contractor if they are stable; look for tangible proof of longevity and financial stability by asking for the items listed on the next few pages.

What To Look For: Company Tangibles

Design C enter On

Why It’s Important: Believe it or not, many contractors use a pick-up truck for an office and a showroom. Make sure that any contractor you’re dealing with is substantial enough to have an actual office, which is not in his pickup truck. Also, make sure the contractor has STRONG Partnerships with recognizable companies.

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84th & F

St • Oma h

a, NE

Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


What To Look For: Bank Letter Why It’s Important: This signed document from the contractor’s bank will show you the financial stability and the bank’s judgment of character of the company you’re working with. Insist on seeing this letter so you know that you’re dealing with a company that is stable and financially sound.

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Supplier Letter Why It’s Important: This is written confirmation of the company’s dealings with a supplier of the product that they build with. These letters are easy for your contractor to obtain from suppliers—if yours says they are difficult to obtain, then there might be something that they’re trying to hide.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


What To Look For: Insurance Certificate Why It’s Important: You need to know if your contractor carries general liability insurance for both commercial and residential projects. A sizable contractor will carry no less than $500,000... and usually around $1,000,000 of coverage. If your contractor’s insurance policy can’t cover potential damages, then the contractor would be personally liable. If he cannot cover the damages himself, you will have no legal recourse and will end up paying for any possible damages or injuries yourself. Over half of contractors are not financially stable... and don’t carry proper insurance coverage to protect you against losses.

CERTIFICATE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE

DATE (MM/DD/YYYY)

2/28/2014

THIS CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS A MATTER OF INFORMATION ONLY AND CONFERS NO RIGHTS UPON THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER. THIS CERTIFICATE DOES NOT AFFIRMATIVELY OR NEGATIVELY AMEND, EXTEND OR ALTER THE COVERAGE AFFORDED BY THE POLICIES BELOW. THIS CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE ISSUING INSURER(S), AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OR PRODUCER, AND THE CERTIFICATE HOLDER. IMPORTANT: If the certificate holder is an ADDITIONAL INSURED, the policy(ies) must be endorsed. If SUBROGATION IS WAIVED, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, certain policies may require an endorsement. A statement on this certificate does not confer rights to the certificate holder in lieu of such endorsement(s). CONTACT NAME: PHONE (A/C, No, Ext):402-861-7000 E-MAIL ADDRESS:

PRODUCER

The Harry A. Koch Co. P.O. Box 45279 Omaha NE 68145-0279

FAX (A/C, No):

INSURER(S) AFFORDING COVERAGE

NAIC #

INSURER A :Acuity

INSURED

BUR83933

Rebath of the Heartland 5010 F Street Omaha, NE 68117

INSURER B : INSURER C : INSURER D : INSURER E : INSURER F :

COVERAGES

CERTIFICATE NUMBER: 1645160191

REVISION NUMBER:

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE POLICIES OF INSURANCE LISTED BELOW HAVE BEEN ISSUED TO THE INSURED NAMED ABOVE FOR THE POLICY PERIOD INDICATED. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY REQUIREMENT, TERM OR CONDITION OF ANY CONTRACT OR OTHER DOCUMENT WITH RESPECT TO WHICH THIS CERTIFICATE MAY BE ISSUED OR MAY PERTAIN, THE INSURANCE AFFORDED BY THE POLICIES DESCRIBED HEREIN IS SUBJECT TO ALL THE TERMS, EXCLUSIONS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH POLICIES. LIMITS SHOWN MAY HAVE BEEN REDUCED BY PAID CLAIMS. INSR LTR

A

TYPE OF INSURANCE

X

POLICY NUMBER

X36452 X

1000

ANY AUTO ALL OWNED AUTOS HIRED AUTOS

X36452

3/1/2014

3/1/2015

SCHEDULED AUTOS NON-OWNED AUTOS

X

LIMITS

$ 1,000,000

EACH OCCURRENCE DAMAGE TO RENTED PREMISES (Ea occurrence)

$ 250,000

MED EXP (Any one person)

$ 10,000

PERSONAL & ADV INJURY

$ 1,000,000

GENERAL AGGREGATE

$ 3,000,000

PRODUCTS - COMP/OP AGG

$3,000,000

$

AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY

X

3/1/2015

OCCUR

GEN'L AGGREGATE LIMIT APPLIES PER: PROX X POLICY LOC JECT

X

POLICY EFF POLICY EXP (MM/DD/YYYY) (MM/DD/YYYY)

3/1/2014

COMMERCIAL GENERAL LIABILITY CLAIMS-MADE

A

ADDL SUBR INSR WVD

GENERAL LIABILITY

X

COMBINED SINGLE LIMIT (Ea accident)

$1,000,000

BODILY INJURY (Per person)

$

BODILY INJURY (Per accident) $ PROPERTY DAMAGE (Per accident)

$

$

A

X

UMBRELLA LIAB EXCESS LIAB

X

X36452

OCCUR

3/1/2014

3/1/2015

CLAIMS-MADE

EACH OCCURRENCE

$5,000,000

AGGREGATE

$5,000,000

X

A

DED RETENTION $ 0 WORKERS COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY Y/N ANY PROPRIETOR/PARTNER/EXECUTIVE N OFFICER/MEMBER EXCLUDED? (Mandatory in NH) If yes, describe under DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS below

X36452

3/1/2014

3/1/2015

X

WC STATUTORY LIMITS

OTHER

E.L. EACH ACCIDENT

N/A

$

$500,000

E.L. DISEASE - EA EMPLOYEE $500,000 E.L. DISEASE - POLICY LIMIT

$500,000

DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS / LOCATIONS / VEHICLES (Attach ACORD 101, Additional Remarks Schedule, if more space is required)

CERTIFICATE HOLDER

sample ---

ACORD 25 (2010/05)

CANCELLATION SHOULD ANY OF THE ABOVE DESCRIBED POLICIES BE CANCELLED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION DATE THEREOF, NOTICE WILL BE DELIVERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICY PROVISIONS. AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE

© 1988-2010 ACORD CORPORATION. All rights reserved. The ACORD name and logo are registered marks of ACORD

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Business License Why It’s Important: Make sure they’ve been operating under the same name for at least 5 years. Many contractors change names multiple times to avoid past customer complaints and problems. Contractors who haven’t been trading as the same name for at least five years had better have a good reason why. (Naturally, some businesses will be legitimately new—if so, get a 10 year work history of the owner and ASK questions!)

What To Look For: Contract Why It’s Important: Never sign an agreement with a contractor until they review all of these items with you. Here’s what must be included in a home improvement contract: •

The contract must be in writing and include the contractor’s registration number.

The entire agreement between the contractor and the consumer including the date of the transaction.

The name, telephone number, and address of the contractor and subcontractors.

A description of the work to be performed including the approximate starting and completion dates of the project.

The total sales price due under contract.

The amount of any down payment plus any amount paid in advance for the purchase of special order materials.

The amount of liability insurance coverage maintained by the contractor.

A notice of the consumer’s right to rescind the contract.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


Reputation You can tell a great deal about a contractor based on what others are saying about them—particularly their customers. The old advice of “ask for 3 references” is just too easy to fake. You’ll need to get a little tougher with your contractor to protect yourself. Insist that any contractor you’re considering can produce the things listed on the next few pages to PROVE that their reputation is solid.

What To Look For: Membership Why It’s Important: Any reputable company will be a member of at least their local Business Association—and often multiple associations. You may want to call the Association to make sure the membership is current.

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Customer References Why It’s Important: All reputable contractors carry pre-printed lists of references.... that includes customers from 1 to 5 years ago, as well as customers from the previous six months. A five year list of clients should contain at least 250 to 500 job references.

“We were extremely satisfied. It is beautiful and well done. We were shocked at how fast they converted our bath tub and shower and how there was no mess left behind.”

— T & D Wade “Excellent! The quality and workmanship were excellent. I am very pleased.”

— M Morrissey

“It makes the bathroom look so much better!”

— P&J Houlden “He started when I went to work and was done when I got home. It was great.”

— C Fulford

“Absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with my Kitchen!”

— L Rubio

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


“I love my new bathroom!  Working with Re·Bath® through the Home Depot turned what I thought would be a very stressful and intimidating process to one that I would recommend to everyone. The entire process from my first conversation with you back in April through to my finished product ended as a great home renovation experience with a bathroom that moves my house from the 1970’s to 2010.

I can’t say enough good things about your installers, the Re·Bath® employees who did my renovation. They arrived on time and completed the entire job in 3 days, with one installer working until 8:30 PM on the third day.  I can’t thank him enough for putting forth the hours and extra effort on that Thursday to complete the job.  The workmanship of the bathroom is meticulous and proof that they are skilled professionals in this field.

The process began with a visit from your bathroom designer at my home.  With his help in about 3 hours of time, I was able to select all the components for the transformation.  He was a great help in leading me through the process, and with his knowledge of your products, he lead me through making excellent product choices. He also assured me that he had seen worse starting bathrooms than mine and guaranteed I would love the finished product, and he was right about that! 

Plus, they removed all the debris that accumulated during the renovation, making the clean-up for me after such a big job almost non-existent.             I am delighted with Re·Bath® and would recommend everyone.”

— Miss Gibb

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Accolades Why It’s Important: If a contractor has been in business for any length of time-and doing a good job, some one may have done a story on them in a magazine or newspaper or they may have received some sort of award or recognition. If a company can not produce how a public company recognized them somehow, it is possible that they might just have plain old “run-of-the-mill” service and products that aren’t very noticable. At Re·Bath® 5 Day Kitchens™ we are proud of what we offer our customers and how we handle our business; which causes others to notice it.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


Professionalism A good contracting company doesn’t just do good work. They also understand that when dealing with customers, it’s oftentimes the little things that make a big difference. You should find a contractor that shows you respect by the way they treat you, the way they look, the way they treat your property, and how they pay attention to details. Check any contractor you’re considering against these standards of professionalism found on the next few pages.

What To Look For: No Sales Pressure Agreement Why It’s Important: Many unethical contractors will resort to high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy before you’ve had an opportunity to do proper due diligence on them. If you know nothing about the contractor prior to the sales call (from literature, references, online information), and they give you a low-ball price “but only if you buy right this minute,” you should be wary. Any time you feel uncomfortable or unduly pressured in a sales environment, you should ask the contractor to “back off.” Reputable companies will have a no-tricks, no-pressure sales pledge signed by the owner, sales manager, and each sales associate.

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Worker Conduct Agreement Why It’s Important: This compliance agreement, signed by the workers, is a 17-point contract prohibiting the use of alcohol, drugs, foul language, misconduct, or other bad behavior on a job site. It also gives appearance standards. Keep in mind that not everything is perfect, but this agreement will greatly reduce the likelihood of problems.

What To Look For: Jobsite Cleanup Roster Why It’s Important: Your home and yard should be cleared of large debris, and dangerous materials daily by the crew. After the job is completed, a total home clean-up should take place, including removal of any hazardous materials in your house or yard. Make sure your contractor has a pre-determined daily jobsite cleanup routine, and a more thorough cleanup routine upon completion of the job.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


Workmanship Ultimately, any contractor has to be competent to do the job right the first time. Competence comes as a result of training, experience, and good old-fashioned hard work. As you evaluate a contractor, look for signs that they can do the job right the first time.

What To Look For: High-Quality Materials Why It’s Important: Many contractors claim to use “high-quality materials,” but in reality they often use cheap materials that generally cost less and pad contractor profits. In many cases, they are also more labor intensive, which allows them to bill customers for more installation time (and delay completion of the job). Many of these kinds of products are also generically bought “off the shelf” and therefore don’t fit the space in the customer’s home—this requires excess use of caulk and other filler materials that look bad and won’t last. Insist that your home be remodeled with only high-quality materials such a solid-surface, non-porous, homogeneous product like Durabath SSP® or natural stone for bathrooms and high-end cabinetry, granite & quartz for kitchens. RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: Jobsite Photos Why It’s Important: A contractor who serves his customers well should be proud to present pictures of his work. Ask to see photos of at least a dozen completed jobs. If pictures are not available, beware.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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What To Look For: No Nonsense Materials & Workmanship Warranty Why It’s Important: Bottom line, a contractor either stands behind the job they’ve done, or they don’t. RE•BATH® of the Heartland offers 100% Lifetime Warranty on all bathroom installations including labor, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. This highest level of warranty is completely transferable, and covers any possible defect in workmanship or materials—forever. 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland offers an industry-leading 5-year warranty on all product and labor plus we uphold all manufacturers warranties. Naturally, you’ll want to check the stability and reputation of the contractor to make sure they’ll actually be around to fulfill on the warranty if necessary, and to find out if they’ve taken the time and effort to fulfill for others who have needed it already. (Note: warranties on bathtubs will only last 1 to 10 years depending on the type

What To Look For: Finishing Products Why It’s Important: Very few bathroom and kitchen remodeling contractors are willing to have a detailed discussion about the caulk they use. High-quality sealants cost more money and look exactly like cheaper ones, so most contractors opt to save the money. Cheap caulk sealants will only last one to two years, lack anti-mold properties, are not easily cleaned, and don’t expand at all to adjust to temperature and humidity changes. Insist on high-quality sealant that will last and won’t put your entire remodeling job at risk.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


What To Look For: No Subcontractor Headaches Why It’s Important: The way to maintain full control over a project is for a company to have their own employees do the work. Our commitment to single contractor accountability means that you never have to worry about scheduling or managing subcontractors. Our employees are all trained and certified and uphold rigorous ethical standards. On the occassion that other specialists are required, we select only those with the excellence in job skills and character we demand, and they answer directly to us.

What To Look For: Lead Paint Certification Why It’s Important: A quick and easy way to establish how compliant your bathroom remodeling contractor is would be to ask to see his Lead-Based Paint Certification. Because of the hazards of disturbing lead-based paint, especially to seniors, children, and pregnant women, the EPA requires certification in training on lead-safe working practices in 2010 for all contractors who work around lead-based paint. If your contractor does not have this certification 1) he’s breaking the law, and 2) he may be endangering you and your family.

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

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Questions Frequently Asked

Q: Are you saying that you are the

Q: Are there any other things I should look for/

only company in the area that can uphold

watch out for that aren’t listed in the pages of

these standards? A: Most companies cannot uphold them, but there are several good, honest contractors to be found. Just be sure to take the time and use this guide to make sure before you hire anyone.

this guide? A: Look for some of these telltale signs of contractors who shouldn’t be trusted: •

Main phone numbers that ring to cell phones

Main phone numbers that are never answered by a receptionist

Trucks without signage on them

No business cards or cheap/homemade business cards

No company logo on work clothes/uniform

Q: What if a contractor says they can do all

Few references available

these things, but can’t show the proof? A: Don’t settle for lip service. Demand to see the documentation for every single standard on the checklist to the right.

Unresolved BBB complaints or no report at all

Prices that are unusually low compared to other bids

No website or very poor website

Ability to start on your job immediately—no backlog

Unwillingness to give any information without being asked first

Q: Can a contractor just “fake” these standards? A: Not likely. Most shady contractors that don’t put any effort into making their businesses good, also won’t put effort into faking these standards. It’s a lot easier for them to just move on to their next unsuspecting victim.

An Ounce Of Prevention... It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When the stakes are high—your home and your wallet—that saying is even more true. We hope that by reading this guide you feel more prepared to evaluate home improvement contractors and make the best decision for your family.

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Questions? Need More Information? Call 402-991-2818 or Visit www.MyHeartlandHome.com


What to Look For

RE•BATH 5DK

Website

P

Company Tangibles: Pictures of Showroom, Trucks, Etc.

P

Bank and Supplier Reference Letters

P

Insurance Certificate and Business Licenses

P

Memberships & Reputation

P

Customer References

P

Accolades

P

No Sales Pressure Agreement

P

Worker Conduct Agreement and Jobsite Cleanup Roster

P

High-Quality Materials

P

Jobsite Photos

P

No-Nonsense Materials and Workmanship Warranty

P

Finishing Products

P

Employees Only/No Subcontractor Headaches

P

Contractor B

RE•BATH® 5 Day Kitchens™ of the Heartland | Independently owned and operated

Contractor C

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5 Call 402-991-2818 remodel@myheartlandhome.com www.MyHeartlandHome.com


Contractor Standards Guide 2014