fbpx
  • January

    6

    2015
  • 582
  • 3
How To Choose a Reliable Contractor for Your Project

How To Choose a Reliable Contractor for Your Project

Most homeowners have to go through home improvement stage at some stage of their home ownership period. When you need to do it how do you find reliable, and at the same time affordable construction company to get the work done.

“When my wife and I decided we wanted to upgrade our kitchen, we researched possible scenarios and looked at different cost variations. It helps you to minimize frustrations and to save money if you prepared and invest time into doing  your homework ahead of time, said Mike, homeowner in Livingston New Jersey.”

Many people have their horror  stories about the contractors who had started the work and had never returned. Or took their deposit and never showed up to do the actual work. Even with a right kind of contractors, the process can be frustrating, full of nasty surprises such as finding a rotten sub-floor, or leaky pipes that could unexpectedly add to the cost of the whole project.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE ESTIMATES

Start with collecting some ideas. Do not start talking to contractors right away, rather spend time looking at different materials you want to use and what you want to have done. If you are renovating your kitchen, do you want tile on your floor, backsplash, the appliances moved around?  Having these things in mind can give you more precise estimates on how much in reality it would cost you. From there you can start understanding if it is actually that important to have you sink on the other side if it will cost you additional $1,500 to redo your plumbing.

CHECK WITH YOUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES, AND CO-WORKERS FOR REFERENCES

You neighbors or people in your area might have done similar projects. Ask them for their experiences. If you know people in your local hardware store ask them. They may be able to provide referrals too.

INTERVIEW AT LEAST THREE CONTRACTORS AND ASK THEM TO SHOW YOU THEIR WORK

Good contractors are always very busy and it is normal. They should be able to show you their work, explain in details what they would do. Ask what will be done and hear them walk you through their steps, you might even learn something new for yourself, something you may have missed or never thought about. When you ask for  their estimates, make sure to have them include same materials so you compare apples to apples. Do not be afraid to negotiate.

CHOOSE RIGHT CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR PROJECT AND CHECK CREDENTIALS

Someone who did you new addition does not necessarily know how to do a good tiling work. Make sure the person you choose to do your work has done it before. Some contractors should be licensed, ask them to show you their certificates. However, depending on the type of work, some may not require licensing such as tiling, painting, installing your floors, doors and more. However,  some work such as electric, plumbing, framing this is not an exhaustive list, does require contractors to carry a license. If this is the type of work involved in your project, ask them to show you their licenses.

DEFINITELY, READ ONLINE REVIEWS AND DO YOUR ONLINE INVESTIGATION

Angie’s list does not allow anonymous reviews. Yelp and Google also have some reviews. You might want to read carefully their reviews but remain abstract and independent in your opinion. If something is good or negative written about the contractor you are considering, ask them about it. Depending on the situation you may want to ask to speak to that particular person, or ask them to give you contacts for some other references so you can verify.

SIGN THE CONTRACT AND HAVE THEM APPLY FOR PERMITS

Make sure contract includes what work would be done, timeline, payment progression, and materials that would be used. Keep in mind that most home improvement projects require permits. Many companies may suggest that work to be done without permits, this may expose you to unknown risks. Also, do not pay more than 10% as a deposit before any work starts. Occasionally contractors may ask for 30% deposit if there are some expensive materials to be purchased ahead of time, your contract should reflect this. Make sure also to include payment schedule and work progression and triggers for consequent payments.

LEAVE A COMMENT

You comment will be published within 24 hours.

3 COMMENTS

  • jack
    November 27, 2019, 5:49 pm REPLY

    I love that you mentioned that you should ask your friends and relatives about their experiences with a contractor who did a similar project to yours, so that you could get referrals from them. I think that sounds like a fantastic way to find one who has a great work quality. My wife and I have been talking about getting a contractor to replace our floors in the kitchen. I will be sure to get referrals to help us choose one.

  • Tyler Johnson
    February 10, 2020, 8:42 pm REPLY

    That’s a good idea to look online for reviews about a contractor. I would want to get as much information about the quality of their work as possible, so that’s a good tip. I’ll make sure that I do that if I decide to get someone to help me renovate my basement.

  • charles
    March 13, 2020, 5:26 pm REPLY

    I hadn’t thought about how a contractor needs to be licensed, so I appreciate the tip to do so. My wife and I have been talking about finding a contractor to help us install the flooring in our kitchen, and it will be important for us to know that we could find the best one to help us. To be sure of that, I will be sure to consider their licensing status.

© Copyright 2015