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. Not just anyone is acceptable, however. In most states, homeowner complaints against contractors are one of the biggest – if not the biggest – category of consumer complaints handled by the state attorney general’s office.
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 perfect way to get personal testimonials from sources you trust. Keep an eye out for neighbors projects as well that seem to be doing well.
You can check out a local directory to find up a contractor. Yellow and white pages have both basic listings, with company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads that include more information about the companies, their contact details and services offered.
To get online referrerals, check with trade organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors. There are also free contractor referral services or professional directories in which you can search for the pro you need. Definitely, those consumer watchdog websites featuring contractor reviews and ratings are very useful too.
Selecting a Contractor
However you decide to find a contractor, make sure to get several bids from different companies and that they compare apples to apples. Know what kind of materials are going to be used even if you have to ask plenty of questions. Any contractor who doesn’t take the time to address your questions should be crossed off your list.
And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can be a good choice, but the old saying about getting what pay for, particularly applies to the construction industry. High-quality contractors are skilled and experienced, have equally skilled and experienced subs, and pay insurance. There are definitely other costs that come along with operating a reputable contractor business, and those are just a few.
Lastly, choose a contractor you are comfortable working 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 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.