Philosophy

At Ethan Allen we provide quality native Vermont craftsmanship at fair and honest rates in a professional, courteous manner.

We, at Ethan Allen Associates, would never think of begrudging any contractor that under bid us...after all, they would know best what their work is worth!

The Lowest Bidder: "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money - that is all. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything because what you paid for was incapable of doing what it was contracted to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have had enough to pay for something better in the first place."  - John Ruskin (1819)

BBB Member Code of Ethics Pledge

As a Better Business Bureau® System Accredited Business we advocate the BBB mission of self-regulation to promote wide spread ethical business practices.  We pledge to:

  • RESPECT all customers, employees, suppliers and competitors;
  • RESOLVE complaints in a timely manner; 
  • PROMOTE our products and services with integrity and honesty; 
  • ABIDE by all laws and regulations governing our industry; 
  • ADVANCE the health and welfare of the community in which we do business.

DO NOT's of Hiring a Contractor

  • Do Not hire a contractor that pressures you for an immediate decision ( you should take time to think about the bid)
  • Do Not hire a contractor that offers you discounts for finding other customers (no reputable contractor will bargain for your references). The quality of his work and his business will earn those.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that only accepts cash payments (a good indicator that he is less than legitimate).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that requires more than 50% deposit (in current times this percentage would be less than what would be required for most contractors to collect most materials and / or line up subcontractors.)
  • Do Not hire a contractor that does not list a business number in the local telephone directory (if he is legitimate he will have a business number).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that tells you your job will be a demonstration.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that requires you to pay for the entire job up-front.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that suggests that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows. If you're not careful, you could lose your home through a home improvement loan scam.
  • Do Not hire a contractor without a written contract (read and reread, be sure that you understand all of the details of the contract, especially from the lowest bidder).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that gives you an unsigned copy of the contract.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that does not give you a DETAILED copy of the estimate (be sure that you understand all aspects of the estimate, especially from the lowest bidder).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that does not give you a street address ( not just a P.O. Box).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that does not give you a telephone number.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that has not registered a trade name with the Secretary of State (building / remodeling licenses are not issued in the State of Vermont).
  • Do Not hire a contractor that does not give you a name under which the trade name is registered.
  • Do Not hire a contractor that has not been in business for a decent amount of time (at least 3 (three) years).
    Do Not hire a contractor that cannot provide a list of references on request.
  • Do Not hire a contractor without proof of liability and workers compensation insurance (even if he works alone he should be able to provide a comp waiver).
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