Hiring the Right Contractor for You
As a homeowner, it can be difficult to discern if the professional you’re hiring has all the right qualifications, licensing requirements, insurance and other necessary skills to handle your job. Handing over money you have budgeted for a home project can be daunting.
Before you dive right in, here are a few helpful tips to help you make the right decision.
Understandably, when hard-earned money is involved, homeowners tend to get highly stressed, worried and can sometimes take out their frustration on the contractor. Thankfully, most contractors understand this displacement and are able help ease the homeowners’ anxiety. Contractors comprehend the process and look to the end result so that the homeowners will be happy upon completion.
The most important factor in getting along with your contractor is making sure you are both on the same page from the beginning. Understanding one another is key to open communication throughout the entire process.
The truth is not always in the bid
If you get three different bids from three different licensed contractors as most suggest, and they are within a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars of each other, your initial meeting may come into play when deciding who to choose. The difference in price may seem indifferent if you are not comfortable with the contractor.
Your time is valuable
Which contractors were on time? Did they respond to your call within a timely manner? Did the contractor have a good sense of humor? Did they have a good understanding of the job at hand? Is he/she able to answer all your questions and does he/she know what questions to ask you?
Do your research
Is the professional you’re looking to hire in good standing? Look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or HomeAdvisor websites to read reviews and to see if there are any complaints. How long a company has been in business can give you a glimpse into the reputation the company has built over the years. The BBB has a comprehensive set of best practices for how businesses should treat the public in a fair and honest manner.
Always make sure your professional has proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Workers’ compensation protects you in the event a worker has an accident. The contractor should also carry an insurance policy that has a general liability aggregate limit of at least $1 million. Without the contractor’s insurance coverage, your home and assets could be at risk if someone is injured on your project.
Ask for certifications
What types of certifications does your professional have? For example, Kyle Ash, president of Aspen Falls Custom Design and Landscape, says, “We specialize in Belgard Pavers; we are an authorized contractor with Belgard, which means we participate in continuing education. In addition, we have an expectation to install a minimum number of paver projects a year so that we can pass on our knowledge and expertise to every paver project we install.”
Hire an expert
Expertise is very important. You should check references and compare previous examples of work see if it meets your needs and standards. Your contractor may have expertise in a certain area but maybe it doesn’t reflect exactly what your project requires. Thus, you may be better suited with someone else.
These tips will help you find the right contractor for your next home improvement project.