21 Dec Our Top Tips to Hire a Contractor for Home Improvement
Are you thinking of hiring a home improvement contractor? Finding the right person, business, or service for the job is the ideal thing to do. But what can you do to ensure that you do so?
Lucky for us, we know. Today we’re bringing you our top tips for hiring a contractor because when it comes to home improvement you need to get the job done right. Too many times it can go disastrously wrong– not every business or contractor is going to be worth hiring. In fact, if you choose poorly, you may come to regret it (and so will your bank account… and home).
You still have time to read up on what you should do when hiring a contractor and be more equipped to make a better choice. Everyone’s going to pitch themselves as worthy and capable to you– but are they really? Read on to find out how to hire a great contractor and just get your money’s worth.
You might get what you pay for– or not.
Just because a quote you get seems more affordable or more expensive doesn’t mean that it is an indication of the worthiness of the work that will be done or the capacity of the contractor. A poor contractor may give a fairly low bid in the hopes that you will go with them and will get more work (which is hard to come by since the phone is not exactly ringing off the hook from all of the positive referrals they get).
In the same vein, there may be contractors that do not do good work and drag their feet but give a high bid. So do not equate a high bid with a guarantee that you will be getting what you pay for. You may end up paying out a lot but getting a poor result that they will either have to redo (and how exactly are they going to do a better job than the first time if you can even get them to agree to that?).
The moral of the story is that price, sticker, bid, or final agreement of a high or low amount of payment is not indicative of the final result. So do not base your hiring on the lowest bid or a high bid because there’s a person behind that number and that is what you have to look at.
Get a referral from someone who has collaborated with a contractor before and you trust their opinion.
Although this can still backfire, if it really is someone who knows their stuff, they may be able to vouch for the quality of the work of that contractor. Reviews online can as well, but depending on the source that may be just standard. You may have better luck with this than searching for one in your area, or not. It is a thought.
Do you have a good feeling about them?
Sometimes you may call an office to speak with a contractor or have a consult in person. Evaluate how you feel about this experience. Did you feel confident in their character, in their ability to get the job done in a timely fashion, in the price, and in their communication abilities? A contractor that can communicate, that has a good crew, that knows the job inside and out and can understand and facilitate the achievement of goals is the one you want to hire!
What are their credentials?
Inquire about credentials and qualifications as well as any certifications from national trade organizations. This could be CGR or BIA and NAHB. You may want to hire a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor so that you are not liable as the property owner if anyone gets injured on the job.
Get it in writing.
Getting a contract in writing is key. Everything from time frames, total cost, payment arrangements, license number, how many people involved, and more. A lack of a commitment to a time frame or penalties for being not done by a certain date may be a red flag. Some contractors also juggle multiple jobs and may end up taking longer than you would think or want, so having things in writing is just a smart idea.
Be honest about your budget.
That way everyone knows what there is to do and you may even be able to pursue options like reducing total cost by doing cleaning up or painting on your own.
Ask as many questions as you need to before hiring a contractor. Why not? Now’s the time and you’ll get a good sense of their capability and knowledge as well. Trust your gut and be thorough in your consideration of potential hires and you will likely be just fine.