How to Find a Quality Home Improvement Contractor
If you’re selling your house and don’t have the tools, experience or time to undertake a home repair or renovation project on your own, you should hire a professional. Not just anyone is acceptable, however. In most states, homeowner complaints against contractors are some of the most common – if not the most common – types of consumer complaints at the state attorney general’s office.
But it’s also true that there are many highly skilled, reliable, trustworthy contractors today.
Finding a Contractor
There are three key ways to locate a contractor for your planned home improvement or repair project:
You should talk to family, friends, and colleagues about good contractors. It’s an excellent way to obtain a personal testimonial from someone 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 everything, from basic listings with the company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads, which indicate the companies’ respective details.
Professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors, are a great sources of online referrals. There are also free contractor referral services or professional directories in which you can search for the pro you need. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.
Selecting a Contractor
No matter how you find prospects, ensure you get a lot of bids from different companies, and that you can make apples-to-apples comparisons. 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 regarding money, never ever pick a contractor for price reasons alone. 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. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay insurance. There are definitely other costs that come along with operating a reputable contractor business, and those are just a few.
Finally, find a contractor you can actually get along with. You could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a day. You will be talking about money issues, your budget’s size and what you intend to do with it. You could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able 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.