5 Tips for Finding a Contractor You Won’t Regret
Once you decide that you want to make an improvement to your home, there are a number of choices that you have to make. There might be some discussion as to the extent of the improvements, colors used, and other details that need to be agreed upon by your family before going ahead with the work. You may also want to consider the budget that you have in mind for this project and the amount of time you think it will take to be completed.
Perhaps the most important decision you will make is finding the right contractor to do the job. After all, they will be the party responsible for bringing your vision to life, and you will be living with the results for the foreseeable future. You do not want to rush into a project without knowing if the contractor you have hired can do the work in a timely and satisfactory manner.
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Here are 5 tips that you can use when looking for a contractor that you will not regret hiring.
Find a Local Contractor
If possible find a local contractor who has been in business in your area for at least several years. This will ensure that they have a permanent business address, phone number, and a local business license. Depending on the type of work you are having done, the contractor may be able to point you to local businesses or residences where they have successfully performed similar work.
Another important reason to employ a local contractor is that they will be close by if issues develop with the work being performed. The quick response can minimize the problem, saving time and money for both you and the contractor. You may be able to obtain a hometown discount by allowing the contractor to show off their work to other prospective clients after the job is completed.
Check Plenty of References
You want to ensure that your contractor has a good track-record, and references from satisfied customers is a great place to start. A good contractor should be willing to provide you with a number of references for you to query as you determine if this is the right one for you.
According to moneycrashers.com, your insurance company is a great resource to use when looking for contractor references. Many insurance companies have working relationships with reputable local contractors, and they should be willing to share that information with you even if they are not paying for the work to be done.
Friends and neighbors are also good resources. Even if they have not had any work done recently, they may know of someone who did and was very satisfied with their contractor. Ideally, you would like to have two independent references suggest the same contractor for your project.
Interview at Least Three Contractors
You want to talk to at least three contractors before making your final decision. This is true even if you are fairly certain of your final choice based on previous recommendations. By going through the complete process three times and carefully listening to each contractor’s input regarding your project, you can uncover details that you had not previously considered.
There are many aspects of hiring a contractor that can make one stand out from the others. You want to steer clear of contractors who insist they are the only ones that can do the job, as there are often many that can. Rely on their portfolios and record of actual work completed successfully.
You also would prefer to use a contractor that cannot start right away. The busier contractors are generally better at their craft. Some contractors may be able to offer you additional benefits such as contractor financing as well. This can all be determined in the interview process.
Determine the Contractor’s Specialty
While there are some contractors that can do just about anything, you will find that many have a specialty or some kind of work that they are more skilled in than others. You want to find someone who has done the kind of work you need and can show you some of their finished results. A general contractor might fit the bill, but you need to determine this based on what exactly it is that you need to be done. If
the work you are considering requires a specialist, make sure that you hire a specialist.
Similarly to the contractor who can start tomorrow, you want to avoid hiring someone who is changing their specialty in order to get your job. It may be a sign that the company is not doing well if the contractor who previously did interior electrical work is now offering you agreat price to pave your driveway. Best to stay clear of that one.
Get Everything in Writing
This is a critical step in maintaining satisfaction with your contractor, as it removes the possibility of misunderstandings while the work is being done. According to thisoldhouse.com, you should insist on every step of the project being spelled out and agreed upon before the work gets underway.
This entails drawing up a legally binding contract that covers every aspect of your project. If your contractor balks at putting things in writing or attempts to make you feel uncomfortable not just trusting them, it’s time to look elsewhere. It is not a matter of trust, but rather ensuring that everything is fair and understood clearly before any work is started or any money changes hands.
Some specific points that you want to see in writing are a payment schedule as well as a projected start and completion date. You want to see the contractor’s proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments. All materials to be used should be identified before the job begins, and their price agreed upon.
These are some tips to help you find a contractor that you will be glad you hired. Take the time to carefully consider who you want to work on your home, as you will be living with the results for years to come. Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your
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