Contractors can be pretty shady sometimes, and if you’re hiring one to do construction on your home, you want to make sure the job goes as smoothly as possible. These 10 tips for hiring a home improvement contractor should help.
A good home improvement contractor can help you complete a variety of tasks around your home. From installing a new light fixture to putting in a brand new bathroom, you can call on a home renovation contractor to make almost any improvement in your house.
But before you hire a home improvement contractor, you should always vet them properly to ensure they’re the best person for a job. The last thing you want to do is welcome someone into your home only to have them make a mess or not be able to handle the task you need to be done.
Here are 10 tips you should follow when hiring a home improvement contractor.
1. Attempt to Get Contractor Recommendations From Friends and Family
If you’ve never worked with a home improvement contractor before, the best way to track one down is by asking your friends and family for recommendations. Ideally, they’ll be able to provide you with names of great contractors in your area.
Your friends and family might even be able to show you the work that their contractor did. You’ll be able to see first-hand what you can expect when you bring a contractor into your home to make improvements to it.
2. Utilize Online Reviews When Searching for Contractors
If you don’t know anyone who can recommend a good home improvement contractor, the next step to take would be to look online for contractors who have good reviews from customers in your area.
You’ll probably be able to find reviews for dozens of different contractors that can perform whatever home improvements you need to be done. You should spend a couple hours reading through those reviews to see what kinds of experiences other people have had with contractors.
Make a list of the contractors you like best based on the reviews you find.
3. Speak With Contractors by Phone Before Hiring Them
Once you have a list of home improvement contractors in your area, you should reach out to each of them and speak with them about the services you offer.
In some cases, you might find that certain contractors don’t do work in your area anymore. In others, you might find that certain contractors aren’t able to perform the improvements you need to be completed.
It’ll help you narrow down your search quickly. You’ll also hopefully find one or two contractors that really stand out.
4. Make Sure a Contractor Has Enough Experience
The contractor that you hire to complete renovations in your home should have more than enough experience to tackle your project. You don’t want to hire someone who dabbles in home improvement jobs or who just launched their business last week.
You should ask your contractor to explain, in detail, how long they’ve been in business and how much experience they have making the home improvements you need done. They should be able to tell you all about how their experience will benefit you and your home.
5. Make Sure a Contractor Is Licensed and Insured, Too
A contractor might be the most experienced contractor in the whole world. But if they’re not licensed and insured, don’t hire them.
A license will ensure that your contractor is running a legitimate business. If they don’t have a license, it means they haven’t taken the proper steps to create a business for themselves.
Insurance will ensure that you and your home are covered in the event that an accident takes place during your home improvement project. If you allow someone to work in your home and they’re not insured, you could end up with a huge headache if someone is hurt or something is damaged because of your contractor.
6. Avoid Hiring the Contractor Who Offers You the Lowest Price
“You get what you pay for.” We’ve all heard the age-old saying, but how many of us conveniently forget it when someone makes us an offer that’s too good to pass up?
We get it. You don’t want to pay more than you really have to when it comes to home improvement projects. But if you go with the contractor who gives you a lowball offer, you could pay the price for it later.
The contractor with the lowest price could end up being your best option. But you shouldn’t base your decision solely on cost.
7. Be Honest About Your Budget When Talking to Contractors
Long before you begin the process of hiring a contractor, you should create a budget for your home improvement project. You should then be upfront about that budget with contractors.
Nothing will frustrate a contractor more than someone who hires them to do a job, only to tell them that they can’t afford to finish the job halfway through. A half-finished job reflects poorly on a contractor and will leave your home looking worse than when they started working on it.
Let your contractor know how much you can afford to pay for a project and then let them decide if they can take it on. A company like Poms & Associates might be able to assist you if you have financial concerns about a particular project.
8. Learn About the Permits You’ll Need for Certain Home Improvement Projects
Most home improvement projects will require you to pull permits with your local city or town. Your home improvement contractor should be prepared to obtain those permits for you.
However, you will ultimately be the one who has to deal with the consequences of doing a home improvement job without a permit. So look into the permits you’ll need before hiring a contractor and then make sure they get them.
9. Ask a Contractor to Provide You With a Timeline for Your Home Improvement
In a perfect world, your contractor should be able to complete your home improvement project in a matter of just a few days. But if your contractor is swamped at the moment, it could take longer.
Whatever the case, you should make sure you’re on the same page with the contractor. Ask them to provide you with a timeline that they’re going to use to finish. That will help you avoid any arguments that might arise over a delayed project.
10. Prepare Your Home for the Renovation Process
After you have a home improvement contractor in place, you should take some time to prepare your home for your renovation.
Clear out your bathroom if you’re having it renovated. Clear space around your doorways so your contractor can get in and out easily. And cover up any floors, walls, or valuables that you don’t want to get ruined during your home improvement project.
By doing this, you’ll give your contractor the space to work freely and finish the job they were hired to do.
Hire Your Home Improvement Contractor Today
Now that you know how to go about hiring a home improvement contractor, it’s time for you to go out and do it. Start by talking to friends and family and then move on to conducting an online search if that doesn’t lead anywhere.
Take your time and make sure you hire someone you can trust. You’ll be glad you did when your home improvement project is done and your home looks better than ever before.
Take a look at our blog for more tips on improving your home.