Finding a Home Improvement Contractor
If you’re selling your house and have no time, tools, or experience to do a home repair or renovation project by yourself, you need to hire a professional. However, not just anyone will do. In most cases, complaints filed by homeowners against contractors are one of the largest categories of consumer complaints the state attorney general’s office deals with.
But it’s true as well that there are a lot of skilled and reliable contractors these days.
Finding a Contractor
There are three common ways to find a contractor for your home improvement or repair project:
Talk to your relatives, friends, and co-workers regarding worthwhile companies. It’s a good way to obtain personal testimonials from people you trust. Also, keep an eye out for projects in your neighborhood that seem to be doing well.
You can look up a contractor in a local directory. Both yellow pages and white pages have basic listings, which indicate company names and phone numbers, and full-page advertisement, which include the company’s details and services.
Professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors, are a great sources of online referrals. You can also use free contractor referral services or professional directories where you can find local candidates. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.
Selecting a Contractor
Regardless of how you find prospects, make it a point to get a number of bids from various companies, and that you can compare them apples to apples. Understand the type of materials to be used, even if you need to ask a lot of questions. Any contractor who doesn’t take the time to address your questions should be crossed off your list.
And now in terms of money, never go with a contractor for cost reasons exclusively. The cheapest bidder could be a good choice, in the construction industry, the old adage about getting what you pay for is especially true. High-quality contractors have exceptional skills and experience, work with expert subs, and buy insurance. There are definitely other costs that come along with operating a reputable contractor business, and those are just a few.
Finally, pick a contractor whom you think you will be comfortable to work with. You could be on the phone with this contractor many times a day. You will be talking about money, your budget and what exactly you’d like to do with it. You can have disagreements about the details, and you have to work through them. A contractor with poor communication skills or someone who just rubs you the wrong way is not the right one for you, even if he was perfect for your neighbor.
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