3 Steps to Finding a Reliable Contractor
Finding a reliable contractor to help you with your next home improvement project can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t know what to look for in an ideal candidate. This guide will walk you through three steps to finding the right person or business that can bring your renovation ideas to life.
1) Know what you want
First, you’ll need to know what you want and what you’re willing to spend. Take into account your skill level, DIY experience, and budget. Then do some research and decide which type of contractor would be best for your home improvement project, landscaper, electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, carpenter, etc. You should also identify three to five different contractors that fit your needs and skills. Make sure you look at their resumes as well as customer reviews before hiring one—you want someone who is going to take pride in their work, communicate clearly with you throughout each stage of the process, stick around after they complete a job to make sure things are up to par and come back if something breaks or goes wrong. If they don’t seem reliable or have rave reviews from customers—look elsewhere! You don’t want to regret your decision later on down the road; after all, home projects can get pretty costly. And finally, keep an eye out for red flags – like unusually low pricing compared to others in your area. The old adage you get what you pay for rings true when it comes to home improvement contractors. Be wary of contractors who offer services far below market rates—it could be due to subpar materials or lack of quality control during installation, among other reasons.
If you notice any potential problems before hiring a contractor then just walk away.
2) Start your search early
One of the best ways to find a reliable contractor is by starting your search early. Start looking in January or February so you can find someone who can come out and do an estimate on your project, giving you time to shop around for a competitive rate. If you know what you want and get your quotes in early, you’ll be able to make your decision before it gets too hot or cold outside. Even if you don’t plan on getting any work done until summer, start looking now; there are always last-minute projects that need to be completed. And after winter weather sets in? Trust us—you won’t regret having started earlier rather than later. You can also benefit from referrals and recommendations when you start talking with contractors early, which will allow you to ask colleagues, friends, family members, or neighbors about their experiences with contractors they’ve worked with. This will help you narrow down your search while also keeping some important notes about how each contractor handles themselves during conversations.
3) Get several estimates
Though you might be tempted to work with your brother-in-law or neighbor who also happens to do home repairs, it’s always best to get several estimates. No matter how thorough and reliable your contractor seems, you want an objective assessment of what needs fixing—and how much it will cost—before signing on any dotted lines. Ask friends for referrals; check online reviews; read your local newspapers to see if they have any info on trusted contractors. In short: Be proactive in finding a good one! Since you want someone accountable for their work (i.e., not Craigslist), make sure your chosen pro is properly licensed and insured, then sign a contract laying out expectations before he or she gets started. Nowadays, there are loads of great home improvement blogs chock-full of helpful tips from seasoned pros that can help you find a contractor (like ours!). You can also get ideas from industry publications like Fine Homebuilding magazine. And remember that sometimes building codes vary by state and city, so use resources specific to your region when seeking advice on doing home improvements yourself; books like The Complete Guide to Do-It-Yourself Home Improvements by Tom Philbin are great for beginners just getting started.