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Choosing a contractor to install your patio cover isn’t as easy as just doing an online search or picking a name from a list.

You want a contractor who not only sells the product you want but also is trustworthy and capable. That sounds like a tall order, but finding that contractor isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you know how.

What Kind of Patio Cover Do You Want?

First decide what kind of patio cover you want—or at least have an idea. If you go to the Renaissance Patio Products home page, it doesn’t take long to understand the difference between Patio Roofs, whether insulated for full shade or translucent for a brighter patio, and a Shade Trellis for a Gazebo or Pergola

Then do a checklist for the features you want.

  • A factory finish that stands up to the weather. The best is a no-maintenance 3-mil powder coat.
  • You can find products that mimic wood but without the maintenance, and modern designs that are clean and fluid.

Having that basic knowledge enables you to converse with different contractors on an equal footing so you can compare their offerings. Of course, if you have the skills, the tools and some experience, you may be able to buy a patio cover kit and install it yourself with a helper or two.

Qualifying Your Contractor

You want to find the best contractor you can—someone experienced at installing aluminum patio covers. At Renaissance, we insist on contractors who will represent our product well. Here are things we require of our certified installers—things you should demand, too:

License. If your state requires a license for builders, make sure your contractor has one.

Insurance. The contractor should carry worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance. Both protect you from potential damages.

Familiarity with the product. Your contractor should know how to assemble the kind of patio cover you want. Every Renaissance certified installer undergoes training on installation and following engineering procedures to ensure structural integrity.

Other important things a good contractor offers:

Written contract. A handshake is not sufficient. Get in writing the details of work to be done, start date, estimated finish date, cleanup requirements, price, and payment terms.

Warranty. The contractor should detail in writing what’s covered and for how long.

Price. You have a right to know what your project will cost, with any change orders—features you decide to add or unexpected conditions that require additional work—in writing. The price should be competitive, not necessarily the lowest. Value I more important than low price.

Reliability. Check online to make sure your potential contractor is not being sued in court.

Stability. Your contactor should have a real address that is a place of business. Avoid anybody who merely operates from a pickup truck. You should be able to visit the office and completed projects—if customers like the contractor’s work, they’ll often allow visitors.

If you want to find a Renaissance contractor, check here. Just choose the place where you live and we’ll have certified installer contact you.

NEXT: How To Design the Perfect Patio Roof for Your Home