Choosing the Right Contractor
For many homeowners, the thought of having to hire a contractor to do work on their homes can be stressful. But when you have a reliable method for choosing a contractor in place, then you can proceed with confidence and remove the stress from the process. When it comes to choosing any kind of home contractor, there are some tips every homeowner should follow to make sure that an experienced professional will be doing the work.
Always Get Multiple Quotes
When you enter the process of choosing a good contractor, you should be prepared to spend time fielding at least three quotes from experienced companies. It would be easier if getting three quotes meant contacting three contractors, but that is usually not the case. Some of the more popular contractors in your area tend to be busy, especially during peak times such as the spring and summer. While these contractors mean well, it is common for them to miss appointments as they attend to their customers.
You will have to keep contacting contractors until you get three companies to provide you with quotes. It may mean calling between five and 10 contractors, but that is all part of the process. If you start getting more than three contractors that are willing to give you quotes, then consider that a blessing.
Get Strong Referrals
Your friends and family member can often be good sources for contractor referrals. Remember that the initial process is collecting quotes, which means that it does not hurt to get quotes from a family member's contracting organization.
Another source for contractor referrals are the signs and contractor trucks you see parked in front of other homes as the contractors do work. There is a reason why a particular contractor is always busy in your region. The best way to find out that reason is to invite that contractor to become part of your bidding process.
Online referral websites can also be good sources for contractor information, but be sure to use unbiased referral sites. If you see a referral site that has contractor advertising on it, then you will want to use another site.
Have a Scope of Work in Mind
Even the most competent contractor will be unable to help you if you do not know what kind of work you want done to your home. Before you contact contractors and start asking for bids, write down the scope of your project and be prepared to discuss the project in detail with each contractor.
By writing down your project scope, you will be able to get the same kind of quote from each contractor and that makes comparing quotes much easier. Be prepared to alter your scope as you get contractor input as what you want done may not coincide with what you can afford. If you do make project scope changes, make sure you alert all of the contractors to make sure you get consistent quotes.
Do Personal Interviews
Do not ask contractors to stop by when you are not home and give you a quote based on what they see. You want to be there each time a contractor looks your property over to provide the proper project scope, and to personally interview each contractor.
The most professional organizations will offer advice and patiently answer each of your questions. Whether a project is scheduled to last one day or one month, you want to be completely comfortable with your contractor before the work begins. Personal interviews can give you insight into how the contractor does work and what kinds of processes you can expect.
Ask For Credentials
Each contractor you talk to should be able to present you with proof of insurance, a copy of his contractors' license and referrals you can call to ask past customers about the quality of work. As you talk to each contractor and set up personal meetings, it is best to let the contractors know what information you will be requesting so they can be prepared.
Some contractors will also bring samples of the materials they use, pictures of past jobs and a listing of homes they have worked on in the area. All of this information can help you to decide which contractor is best for your needs.
Once you have collected all of your bids and conducted your personal interviews, you should have all of the information you need to make a good decision. Every homeowner should take the process of finding a good contractor very seriously. It only makes sense to comprehensively screen the companies that you will invest a great deal of money with as they work on something as important as your home.