Pointers for Finding a Home Improvement Contractor
If you’re selling your home and don’t have the time, experience or tools to do your own home repair or renovation project, you must hire a professional. However, not just anybody 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 main methods of finding a contractor for a home improvement or repair project you may be planning:
Speak to your family, friends, and colleagues about companies worth considering. It’s an excellent way to obtain a personal testimonial from someone you trust. Keep an eye out for neighbors projects as well that seem to be doing well.
You can use a local directory to search for a contractor. Both yellow pages and white pages have basic listings, which indicate company names and phone numbers, and full-page advertisement, which include the company’s details and services.
To obtain online referrerals, look for professional organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which has its own system for contractor certification. There are also professional directories or free contractor referral services that provide leads. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.
Selecting a Contractor
No matter how you find prospects, ensure you get a lot of bids from different companies, and that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons. Know what kind of materials are going to be used even if you have to ask plenty of questions. Any contractor who doesn’t take the time to address your questions should be crossed off your list.
And now in terms of money, never go with a contractor for cost reasons exclusively. The lowest bidder can be a good choice, but the old saying about getting what pay for, particularly applies to the construction industry. High-quality contractors have exceptional skills and experience, work with expert subs, and buy insurance. Of course, these are but examples of the many costs that come along with running a reputable contractor business.
Lastly, choose a contractor you are comfortable working with. You will likely spend time with your contractor from time to time in a single 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 who has poor communication skills or just rubs you the wrong way is not the right choice for you, even if he clicked so well with a friend.
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