When considering a home renovation, the thought of it all can be overwhelming and a bit confusing for homeowners. Oftentimes, they don’t know where to start or even what to look for when searching for a contractor. Here are 9 things a homeowner should look for when hiring a contractor.
One of the most important things you should do as a homeowner is to find a contractor that is licensed. When a contractor has a license, it simply means that they have met the state mandated qualifications to be a contractor. When you go to sell your home, unlicensed contractors are typically not recognized in real estate transactions. You are easily able to find licenses on your states DLLR website.
2) General Liability and Workers Comp Insurance
Your contractor’s insurance policy protects you as the homeowner from incurring responsibility for an injury sustained on your property. If your contractor doesn’t have this, you could be held liable.
When looking for a contractor, choose one who has experience as they are better able to provide quality workmanship. Ask the contractor how long they’ve been in business, how many projects they’ve completed and if they have any references, they’d be willing to share for their work.
4) References and Positive Online Reviews
If a contractor can provide references for their work as well as having a positive online reputation, then their customers are happy with the service and the experience they received.
5) Trained Staff
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask how long the company has been in business. Ask how much experience their staff has been with the company as a longer tenure from staff indicates that they are happy. Happy employees are much more likely to perform their work at a higher level than those who aren’t happy with their employer.
6) Turnaround Time
Turnaround time can be a good indicator of what kind of company you are speaking with. If a company has a very short turnaround, it can indicate that the company is sacrificing quality for speed which could result in poor workmanship. If there is a lengthier turnaround time, it could indicate that the contractor is in demand because of their quality and reputation. This is typically a good thing to see with a contractor.
When searching for a contractor, it’s recommended that you never want to go with the one who has the highest or lowest pricing. Contractors should be competitive with their pricing, but keep in mind that if the pricing seems too good to be true, it typically is. Also, make sure you compare “apples to apples” when it comes to pricing, and make sure you understand what you’re paying for.
When choosing a contractor, you want to make sure that they provide good communication. Have they gotten back to you in a timely manner. Did they answer all your questions. Did they confirm your appointment? Did they explain their communication process to you? If you answered “no” to several of these, it may be a good indication that you will receive poor communication throughout your experience.
9) Services Agreement
Your agreement will show a lot about the contractor you chose to work with. The agreement should have the contractor’s license number and address, scope of work, materials being used and a detailed description of the work they will be performing.
When it comes to hiring the right contractor for your job, it’s important to understand that no two jobs are the same. Trust is a major factor, and it’s imperative that you find someone you are truly comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask for questions or clarification.
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