4 Lessons Learned:
How to Hire a Reliable Home Improvement Contractor
It can be a frustrating experience trying to find a remodeling contractor that will complete the work that you need them to do. The contractors aren’t on-board with the ideas that you have in mind. Then, you spring up the news that you need your neighbor, who’s a carpenter, to handle the basement foundation. And then you have an unscrupulous contractor who’ll manage the electrical work too. Just about as important, the remodeling contractor probably has a blacklist of other troublemakers, a list formed over years of black-hat practices.
One way to make sure you find quality remodeling contractors is to stay away from the “big name” general contractors. Your local yellow pages will likely feature plenty of general contractors in the area that would make a good fit for your remodeling needs. But these are the contractors who make outrageous claims or haven’t built any major projects in a while. For these reasons, it’s important that you steer clear of these guys all-together.
But what about the home remodeling contractors who have done work for you in the past? Do you want someone with whom you’ve already established a good relationship? This is one of the first things you should look for in a remodeling contractor. You want someone you already know and trust will accomplish the job properly. If you’ve worked with someone in the past who you feel comfortable working with, make sure they still maintain that relationship.
Once you’ve done a little research into your local area, you’ll probably find some remodeling contractors who fit your criteria. Now comes the challenge – what kind of jobs do they typically do? The most common tasks for new home remodeling contractors include bathroom and kitchen remodels. However, some do use their experience to do finishing touches on homes, including work on garages, fireplaces, and other outbuilding. This isn’t something you just hire an experienced contractor to do – it’s usually a task best left to experienced hands who know how to complete it properly.
Before you can hire them, though, you’ll need to determine if you want to hire a one-person outfit or a crew that will come in and do most of the work. This decision may seem obvious, but it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of home remodeling. Believe it or not, many home improvement stores don’t list their contractors. If you go to your local home improvement store, you might not even be able to find any “non-dealt” contractors listed with them. What you really need to do, then, is to call all the companies in your area and ask if they offer a job description that includes doing showers, kitchens, and bathrooms.
You should also make sure you ask your potential contractor about their liability insurance. Remember, you’re going to be hiring them to work on your home – if they aren’t willing to provide liability insurance, you might want to think twice about letting them move forward with the project. Make sure that the remodeling contractor you choose is licensed, bonded, insured, and uses quality products. A remodeling contractor without any of these elements is likely someone you shouldn’t do business with.