DIY : 7 Tips to Follow When Choosing a Home Contractor – Praveen Chaparala – Medium
Whether you are adding an extra room to the home, building a deck, or remodeling your bathroom, choosing the right home contractor is usually the most important first step where any home renovation project is concerned. Not doing your research and making the wrong choice will end up with you being disappointed in the work, feeling cheated out of money, and spending extra money to have the job done properly by another home contractor. The following is a list of 7 tips to follow when choosing a home contractor to complete your remodeling project.
Get referrals from family members and friends — there is a good chance that you will have a decent sized list of home contractors to choose from once you have discussed the issue with your family members and friends.
Research only those contractors that specialize in the work you need done — in other words, you wouldn’t hire a plumbing contractor to do carpentry work. There are numerous trade certifications where contractors are concerned so be sure that you build your list from those who can meet your expectations.
Ask each contractor for their credentials — check their insurance and licenses with your local Contractors Licensing Board. Ask the contractor to see their Contractor’s Certification, Liability Insurance certificate, and Worker’s Compensation status. If that home contractor is reputable, he/she should have no issues with you asking to see these documents.
Get references from every contractor you are considering — each contractor on your list should be willing to provide you with at least 3 or 4 references for the work they have recently performed. If they balk at this, consider dropping them from your list of choices.
Check with the Better Business Bureau — the BBB will have records of any complaints that have been lodged against any of the home contractors you are considering. They will also have records of whether or not those complaints were ever resolved and if the customer was satisfied with their work.
Get written estimates — if a contractor doesn’t want to give you a written estimate for the work, thank them for their time and go onto the next home contractor. You want to get at least 3 or 4 estimates in order to compare pricing based on what is included. Just keep in mind that the lowest bid is not necessarily going to be the wisest choice. Conversely, the most expensive price does not guarantee the best work either.
Make your decision — once you have thoroughly evaluated every contractor that is on your list, make your decision and have them draw up a contract for you to sign. Make sure the contract spells out everything from start to finish including materials and supplies that will be used in the job, the payment schedule required, and time frame of the project. If you are sure that nothing has been left out, sign the contract and find out how soon the contractor will be starting the job.
On a closing note, hire a home contractor that you are confident about, especially where showing up on time is concerned. Remember, the more knowledgeable and professional that contractor is, the greater the chance that you will be satisfied with the job they do.