How To Find and Hire Contractors

October 14, 2023

Home Maintenance and Tips

How To Find and Hire Contractors

Whether you're getting ready to sell your home or simply want to make some improvements or repairs, finding the right professionals for the job is essential. With the right approach, you can find a contractor who has the right skills for the job and properly communicates the scope of the project and how much it will cost you.

home improvementsObtain Recommendations
Start by asking for some recommendations from your friends and family. If someone you know has had renovations done on their home, they can tell you about their experience with hiring contractors. You can also speak to your neighbors to get recommendations or pose the question on social media.

Read Online Reviews
Today, nearly every contractor has online reviews you can read from past customers. Reading these reviews should give you a better understanding of what it's like to work with that contractor and the quality of their work.

Seek Multiple Estimates
Make sure you obtain and compare written estimates from three or more contractors. Consider the work methods, project timelines, and building materials that each contractor is using, in addition to their quoted price. Saving money is great, but the cheapest option often comes with drawbacks, like less experience or a longer timeframe.

Ask Questions
Gather some additional information during or after the estimate. A few questions to consider asking include:

  • Do you have experience with projects like mine?
  • Can you provide a list of your previous clients?
  • Are you licensed for this type of work?
  • Will you obtain all of the required building permits?
  • Will you hire subcontractors for the job? If so, who?
  • What is the expected timeline for this project?
  • How will my project be supervised?
  • What’s your typical payment schedule?
  • Do you anticipate any challenges regarding this project?

Verify Insurance and License
Every state has different licensing requirements for contractors. While some states don't require a license, all contractors need to have liability insurance that covers potential issues that arise during the project. Confirm with your contractors that they have the right coverage.

Check Past Work
Ask for some references of the contractor's previous work. If the contractor says that they specialize in the type of work you need for your home, checking references allows you to see their workmanship, customer service, and product quality. Look at the Better Business Bureau website to see if the contractor you're hiring is in good standing. Consider only working with contractors who have at least five years of experience.

Understand the Contract you Sign
Before signing a contract with the professional you're about to hire, make sure it lists all the information you need about the project at hand, including payment schedule, deadlines, and materials. This contract should also include any permits the contractor needs to apply for and a detailed description of the work.

Hiring the right contractor is the difference between a successful project and one that causes you to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars. By doing some homework first, you should be able to avoid a negative contractor experience.

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