How to Find a Quality 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 true as well that there are a lot of skilled and reliable contractors these days.
Finding a Contractor
There are three common ways to find a contractor for your home improvement or repair project:
You should talk to family, friends, and colleagues about good contractors. It’s a good way to obtain personal testimonials from people 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. Both yellow pages and white pages have everything, from basic listings with the company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads, which indicate the companies’ respective details.
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. Definitely, those consumer watchdog websites featuring contractor reviews and ratings are very useful too.
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 in terms of money, never go with a contractor for cost reasons exclusively. 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. 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.
Finally, pick a contractor whom you think you will be comfortable to work with. You could be on the phone with this contractor many times a day. You will be talking about money, your budget and what exactly you’d like to do with it. You could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able to work through them. If a contractor is a lousy communicator or the person simply rubs you the wrong way, he is not the one for you, no matter if he was perfect for your friend.