Renovating a basement, adding an extra room or just doing some house repair can be a difficult task. That’s why hiring a contractor for a home improvement project will be of great help. However, finding a good contractor can be quite a challenge. Hiring a wrong contractor can cost you a lot. The tips below will help you hire the best contractor who is experienced enough to make sure your home improvement project is of great success.
Finding a Contractor
Finding a competent contractor depends on how complex or big your project is. Therefore do a thorough research through friends, neighbors and co-workers who have hired a contractor before. Remember that even if you get referrals from individuals you trust, it’s crucial to trust your instincts.
You can also do research by looking at websites that have reviews and ratings. Do not forget to look at how long the contractor has been in business and whether he or she possesses the required qualifications.
What to do Before You Hire?
Once you have narrowed a number of companies, request for written estimates. Get a detailed explanation if there is any variance in price. Do not just go for the lowest bidder. You want to see what you are getting for your money.
Questions to Ask
- Are there similar projects like mine, you have completed before? If there is, ask for a list to see how the project was done. Do not only call the references, but also visit the site to see how the work was done.
- Does my project require a license? Most states require a license for a building project. A competent contractor will have all the required permits before the commencement of your home project.
- May i see a list of references? A competent contractor will be able to provide you with names, phone numbers and addresses of the previous clients he has worked with who had projects similar to yours.
- Will you be hiring subcontractors for this project? If there is any need for hiring other subcontractors make sure that they have licenses and insurance coverage.
- How do you manage the project? Project management can make or break a project and it’s budget. You want to go with someone with a good project management system.
Have a Written Contract
Some states require a written agreement. Even if your state does not require one, ask for it. The written agreement should contain the following.
- Name, address and permit number of the contractor
- The estimated time of commencement and completion
- The mode of payment
- What the contractor is obligated to do and not to do
- The right to terminate the contract within three business days
- All the promises made during calls and conversations
Make sure you understand the mode of payment available. Do not pay cash. For small projects, you can pay by credit card or check. For larger project arrange the mode of payment.
After Hiring the Contractor
Keep all the related paperwork for your home improvement projects in one place. If you have any dispute with your contractor, try to resolve it as soon as possible.
There is no doubt that hiring a home improvement contractor can cause a lot of anxiety and fears. But if you do your part well, you will ensure that your home improvement project is a huge success!