Tips for choosing the right contractor
For most homeowners, the decision to take on a remodeling project comes with more than its fair share of positives and negatives. Honestly, it can be a tough call to make. Not only do you need to consider the financial investment of the project, the impact the work will have on your daily life, and whether the project will add value to your home, you need to find a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. And, finding and hiring this person (or team of people) may be the hardest part of the process.
When considering a remodel project, it’s important to find a quality contractor who will perform with your best interest at the forefront from the beginning of the project through its completion. Choosing the right contractor can be the difference between having a smooth and enjoyable remodeling experience or a more difficult one. Here are some tips for finding the right contractor:
Have a plan and know what you want
It's best to go into your remodel knowing what you want done and the materials you want to use. Developing your own plan or list of ideas in the beginning, before you hire a contractor, will allow you to receive a more accurate estimate and will ensure the finished product is exactly what you are looking for.
Read online reviews
When considering which contractor to hire check out the online reviews for the company. Google, Facebook, Porch.com and Houzz are great places to start. Reading online reviews can be tremendously important in helping decide which contractor to get a bid from or hire. That said, it is also important to remember that online reviews are not a substitute for checking references.
Before starting a project, ask neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers for recommendations and opinions on who they’ve hired to do work in their home. Consider endorsements from those who completed projects like the one you’re looking to have done. When you’ve finalized your list of potential contractors, be sure to ask them for references from former customers as well.
Interview the contractors
It’s important to hold in person meetings with a few potential contractors before you begin your project. Get written quotes from each contractor for you to compare and ask questions to ensure they’re familiar type of project you want done. Some to consider include:
What type of projects are you most frequently hired to do?
Have you completed projects similar to this before?
Do you have a list of references I can contact?
In addition to asking questions that speak to the job itself, make sure you feel comfortable with the person or team of people you decide to hire. After all, the contractor you hire will be in your home until the project is complete.
Make sure the contractor is trustworthy
You’ve done all your research, talked with friends and neighbors, met with and received bids from multiple contractors and are ready to make a decision. Before you sign a contract make sure you check that the contractor you’re considering is licensed to work in your area. It is also a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau and local court records to see if they’ve experienced any problems or complaints.
Even with all the legwork complete and after you’ve hired a contractor you trust, a remodeling project can be stressful, expensive and involve unexpected surprises. Try to enjoy the process and know that the end result will be worth the wait and all the hard work!