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 states, homeowner complaints against contractors are one of the biggest – if not the biggest – category of consumer complaints handled by the state attorney general’s office.
But it’s true as well that there are several of high-quality and trustworthy contractors out there.
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 an excellent way to obtain a personal testimonial from someone you trust. Also, keep an eye out for projects in your neighborhood that appear to be going well.
You can look up a contractor in a local directory. Yellow and white pages have both basic listings, with company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads that include more information about the companies, their contact details and services offered.
To get online referrerals, check with trade organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors. There are also free contractor referral services or professional directories in which you can search for the pro you need. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.
Choosing a Contractor
Regardless of how you find prospects, make it a point to get a number of bids from various companies, and that you can compare them apples to apples. 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 about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can be a good choice, but the old saying about getting what pay for, particularly applies to the construction industry. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay 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 could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a 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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