What to Know Before You Hire a Contractor
If you have a major project to start at home, it might be wise to put the ladder and power tools down and call a contractor. Contractors can offer consultation for the handyman of the house or give quotes for large jobs and construction that the average homeowner isn’t equipped to start on their own. Just like with any work that involves something as precious as the home you live in, you should be careful of who you bring in to do it. Consider these few steps before hiring a contractor.
Keep Plenty of Options
You should always look at more than one options. Even locally there will be plenty of choices to pick from. Big franchise chains and even family owned self-managed repairmen can all be reached and contacted. Keep the list big so you can narrow it down to the one person that can do the job you need when the time comes to start it.
As with any project, you need to do research. Look into the costs associated with your problem or project to get a good idea of what you will be spending. That way, you won’t get blindsided later when your contractor quotes you. If you go in with a solid budget in mind you can narrow your search down to the people who are able to work within it.
Look into the work the companies provide. Someone who works in commercial zones wouldn’t have the clearance to work on a residence, and someone with a carpentry background won’t have an easy time with stone work. Work down to find at least three or four contractors that have the best reviews, the best output and the most professional attitudes.
Contractors are human beings just like you, and it’s best to talk to them directly before starting any work. Ask them questions about how they’ll handle your project, go over their work history and get to know them so you can personally trust that they will handle your home with care.
Some of the most important questions should cover their basics first. Ask about their insurance, their certificates, payment or billing, experience and how they will manage the project. If you are invested in the project, and they treat you like just another 2:30 appointment, you may want to go for someone else. Establishing trust is key for contractors and their clients. Likewise, a hard working professional contractor will see a lazy homeowner who doesn’t know his front door from his window as someone hard to work with.
Once you’ve got all the questioning out of the way, you’ll have to approach the hardest topic of all: the budget. Through research, you should know how much your job will cost. Give it more room than you expect and try to aim for a mid-tier price. A price that’s too good to be true usually is. Low bids or fast turnarounds can end up cutting corners or skipping on important details. They might make a bigger mess than they end up fixing, but once the contract is up, they’re gone. Be clear and reasonable, and don’t be afraid to go up to the top of your quote, without going over.
Think for your home’s sake and make the right decisions the first time. Measure twice, cut a deal once.