Tips for Finding a Contractor
Checking out a contractor is simple to do and the best first move homeowners can make before starting a home construction or repair project.
Thanks to the Internet and social media today, it’s easy to find a contractor you can trust. Start your research with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a great resource to easily find which contractors in your area have positive ratings, and which to avoid. Other resources include: Angie’s List, Home Advisor and Yelp. Friends and neighbors who’ve had work done are also good resources for recommendations. Before you hire anyone, vet the contractor out through as many sources as you can. Here are some additional steps you should take before hiring a contractor.
Get your estimates in writing.
You’ll want at least three estimates from three different contractors. Make very sure they’re all for the exact same work and for precisely what you want done.
Ask if they’re licensed or registered.
Licensing generally means they’ve passed a test or are certified. Registered means they’ve paid a fee. The requirements vary depending on local laws and regulations.
Make sure they’re insured and bonded.
This protects you if something goes wrong on the job, if they fail to complete the job, or fail to pay for permits or subcontractors.
Check their work and references.
Ask if there are any past or current jobs they’re working on where you can review their work. Check their attention to detail. Interview their customers.
Make sure your contractor or subcontractors are experienced.
Someone who says they have “no problem” doing plumbing, electrical and fine woodwork likely can’t do any of it as well as someone who’s an expert in just one craft.
Know who will actually do the work.
If you hire a general contractor who’ll hire subcontractors, ask for their names and check up on them like you did for the general contractor.
What should you watch out for?
Getting questioned or experiencing resistance on any of the above. Quality, reputable contractors will be transparent about the process and happy to provide their credentials. Finally, trust your instincts. Choose someone you feel comfortable being around. Who’s easy to communicate with and who you won’t mind having in your home. Expect a few hiccups and a little stress along the way while your home is disrupted until the project is finished. The more you do before the work starts, the more relaxed you’ll stay until your “new” home is ready.
Taking time to find a reliable and trustworthy contractor will really pay off when it comes time to renovate or remodel your home. If you are considering remodeling the home you’re in or purchasing and renovating a new home, contact me to show you loan options to fit to fit your home remodeling needs.
(Source: Mandy Jordan in PrimeLending News)