How to Find a Quality 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 anybody will do. In most states, homeowner complaints against contractors are one of the biggest – if not the biggest – category of consumer complaints handled by the state attorney general’s office.
But it’s true as well that there are several of high-quality and trustworthy contractors out there.
Finding a Contractor
There are three common ways to find a contractor for your home improvement or repair project:
Talk to your relatives, friends, and co-workers regarding worthwhile companies. 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 look up a contractor in a local directory. 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.
Professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors, are a great sources of online referrals. You can also use free contractor referral services or professional directories where you can find local candidates. Definitely, those consumer watchdog websites featuring contractor reviews and ratings are very useful too.
Choosing a Contractor
Regardless of how you find prospects, make it a point to get a number of bids from various companies, and that you can compare them apples to apples. Understand the type of materials to be used, even if you need to ask a lot of questions. If the contractor won’t take the time to answer your questions, forget about them.
And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can be a good choice, but the old saying about getting what pay for, particularly applies to the construction industry. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay insurance. There are definitely other costs that come along with operating a reputable contractor business, and those are just a few.
Finally, find a contractor you can actually get along with. You could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a day. You will be talking about money, your budget and what exactly you’d like to do with it. You could have disagreements over details, and you should resolve 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.