Finding a Home Improvement Contractor
If you’re selling your house and have no time, tools, or experience to do a home repair or renovation project by yourself, you need to hire a professional. However, not just anyone will do. In most cases, complaints filed by homeowners against contractors are one of the largest categories of consumer complaints the state attorney general’s office deals with.
But it’s also true that there are many highly skilled, reliable, trustworthy contractors today.
Finding a Contractor
There are three key ways to locate a contractor for your planned home improvement or repair project:
Speak to your family, friends, and colleagues about companies worth considering. It’s a perfect way to get personal testimonials from sources you trust. Keep an eye out for neighbors projects as well that seem to be doing well.
You can check out a local directory to find up a contractor. Yellow and white pages have both basic listings, with company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads that include more information about the companies, their contact details and services offered.
To get online referrerals, check with trade organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors. You can also use free contractor referral services or professional directories where you can find local candidates. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.
Choosing a Contractor
However you decide to find a contractor, make sure to get several bids from different companies and that they compare apples to apples. Understand the type of materials to be used, even if you need to ask a lot of questions. A who has no time to answer your questions must be removed from your list.
And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can sometimes be a good choice, but that old adage, “you get what you pay for,” sure applies to the home improvement industry. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay insurance. Of course, there are merely examples of expenses that are incurred in running a well-reputed contractor business.
Finally, pick a contractor whom you think you will be comfortable to work with. You could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a day. You will be talking about money issues, your budget’s size and what you intend to do with it. You could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able to work through them. A contractor with poor communication skills or someone who just rubs you the wrong way is not the right one for you, even if he was perfect for your neighbor.