At some point every homeowner needs a contractor. If you have bought a new home and want to make some changes, installation of new appliances or any other changes. If you are selling your house and would like to repair or renovate the place, you need the help of a professional who can build, repair, renovate, design or install such changes in a house. Since all these services are offered by a number of companies and individuals, it might get a little tough to find the perfect contractor for your needs.
A lot of things can go wrong if you hire a bad or an unreliable contractor. You might end up getting an unfinished or poorly executed project. Often contractors charge more money for a job than you should pay and might gain profit by malicious ways with the use of substandard materials or neglecting the standards and guidelines for safety. Nevertheless, there are plenty of contractors out there, who are fair with their work, are trustworthy, and have a high level of skill set. Here is a small guide to help you find the best contractor.
There are several ways by which you can find or approach a good contractor. Some of them are as follows:
Take advice from your colleagues, family members and friends before communicating with a contracting company. It is always reliable to get real time feedback from a trusted group of known people. Ask your neighbors about their current or past contractors. It is always a good idea to ask as many people as you can, as they would have experienced the same in the past and can benefit you with their referrals. Nevertheless, try to observe if your friends and family have the same taste as you, if they had the same requirements, or if there is a huge difference in your budget. In these cases, try to refrain yourself from such suggestions.
Phone Books and Directories
You can always look up a local directory to find contractors listed there. They can have basic listing of their work to an in-depth company description. Try to call some of them to know about the services they provide and if it matches your requirement. By using phone books, you can choose a contractor at your own pace, calling different places and reaching a conclusion afterwards. Although, if you are going to hire a contractor just by using a directory, try to get a few testimonials about the company online
There is a huge list of different contractors listed online. You can browse these sites to know more about the local companies, read about their services, get to know about their past work and read reviews about their work. You can also just post your project, listing your requirements and deadline, and can wait for a company to come up with the best bid. Although in such case, try to get a couple of bids before choosing the right company. Never select a contractor just on the basis of the lowest bid or most experience. Try to get a mix of both in one place.
It is always a right choice to select a local company, since you can easily verify their work. Also, if any issue in the work will arise, the company will be nearby to resolve the same. It will also result in better communication and execution of the plan.
Asking Your Insurance Company
If none of the above points would help in finding you the right contractor, you can always ask your insurance company for some suggestions, even if they are not paying for the work. They have a listing of well-reputed local contractors on the basis of reviews and price listings.
But the work doesn’t stop just by finding the right company. When you are working with a contractor, always keep the following check:
Just before finalizing anything, read as many reviews as you can about the company. Go online and read testimonials of different people. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your friends and colleagues if they know anything about the company.
Check for Contractor’s License and Insurance
When you are hiring a contractor, ask for their license number and insurance certification. All the contractors are essentially required to maintain a license number and insurance certification, which is a great way to know whether the company is legally registered or in case of any future dispute.
Get Everything in Writing
Get the entire quote in writing, including both the labor and the material cost, and the total cost for the project. It will also save your time when you are looking for multiple contractors for your project. Before finalizing anything, include the clause in the quote that would be notified in case of any change in the project, to avoid any imbalance in the money and settle the balance seamlessly. Make it in an agreement and keep it safe with you until the warranty expires. Sign a detailed contract, explaining every clause and situation to avoid any future argument.
Don’t Pay Up-Front
Contractors might ask you money before even starting the job for material, labor and so on, but don’t pay for the entire job in advance. Don’t pay for more than 10 percent of the entire job, before the work starts.
Ask for Receipts
Always ask for receipts and other copies of the document. You should know where your money is going and what kinds of materials are getting used. Some insurance companies might ask for such documents to support your claim.
The road to finding the perfect contractor for your project might be a tough one, but with the above guidelines and checklists, it would become extremely easy for you to narrow down a list of good companies, and finally find the best contractor, serving all your requirements in your budget.