How to Find a Quality 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 key ways to locate a contractor for your planned 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 appear to be going well.
You can use a local directory to search for a contractor. 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.
To obtain online referrerals, look for professional organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which has its own system for contractor certification. There are also professional directories or free contractor referral services that provide leads. 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. Know the kind of materials you have to use even if you have to be asking lots of questions. A who has no time to answer your questions must be removed from your list.
And now in terms of money, never go with a contractor for cost reasons exclusively. The lowest bidder can sometimes be a good choice, but that old adage, “you get what you pay for,” sure applies to the home improvement industry. High-quality contractors have exceptional skills and experience, work with expert subs, and buy insurance. Of course, these are but examples of the many costs that come along with running a reputable contractor business.
Lastly, choose a contractor you are comfortable working 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 could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able to work through them. If a contractor is a lousy communicator or the person simply rubs you the wrong way, he is not the one for you, no matter if he was perfect for your friend.