When it comes to interior remodeling and and home renovations, the toughest part is finding a reliable contractor that you feel comfortable trusting in your own home. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly. The right contractor will make the effort to constantly show up on time, work around your budget, and deliver the quality results that you are hoping for. But how do you find a contractor that actually lives up to your expectations? Here’s a few quick tips to keep in mind before booking a contractor your have no experience with.
1. Talk to Friends and Family:
One of the best ways to find a good contractor is by talking to your friends and family members for a personal referral. Ask around to see if anyone recently had any work performed on their home. Ask them some simple questions regarding the work done by the contractor that they hired. Would they hire them again? If so, that is a great sign they are worth your time. If someone else had a good experience with a particular contractor, the chances are high that you will have the same.
Just last month I noticed a carpentry truck parked out in front of one of my neighbors homes, after the truck had left I went and introduced myself and asked how the contractor performed. My neighbor assured me the contractor was excellent, and so I made a note of the worker and in a few months gave them a call. Most great contractors get most of their business this way, excellent work builds a great reputation and word of mouth travels fast. If you have the opportunity, take a look at the work they have completed for yourself and decide if they are right for you project. Which leads us to our next tip…
2. Browse Work Samples:
Browsing through a contractor’s work samples, allows you to get a idea of the work that they are able to perform and may also spark some ideas for your very own upcoming project. Often times, samples are much more important than references. On the other hand, if they do not have any work samples to show you, that is a major indicator that you should avoid hiring them. No prior work or pictures to display is a sign that they do not have the experience needed to tackle important projects.
On that note, also consider checking any testimonials they may have on their website. The FDA forbids misleading or fake testimonials and companies can face hefty fines for using them, however it may not stop some companies from trying.
3. Avoid Shady Tactics:
Unfortunately, we live in a world where not everyone is as honest as they should be. Thousands of people are scammed out of their money by sleazy, untrustworthy contractors every year. It is essential that you keep your eye out for shady tactics. You should always make sure that have the proper credentials to work in the state you live in. A big red flag is if the ask for a large cash deposit up front or require that you write a check in their name rather than their business name. It is always better to be safe than sorry so always take the proper precautions to make sure you are dealing with a reputable contractor. A small deposit is common for some projects, but if they ask for 50% or more than you need to make absolutely sure these workers are going to perform at the level you expect them to. Always discuss payment agreements before the work begins.
All transactions made with the contractor must be in writing and all discussions properly documented. If there were ever a case in which you get scammed, you’ll need the proper documentation to support your claim in a court of law. Otherwise you may find yourself in a rather bad situation. Hopefully this never becomes an issue for you, but better safe than sorry.
4. Interview Candidates:
A great way to find a good contractor is to interview multiple candidates in your area. This will allow you to find a contractor that you really feel comfortable working with. Some good questions to ask include how long they have been working, what kind of insurance do they care and also ask if they belong to any professional associations.
All in all, finding a good contractor to work with may seem like a big project to tackle but these tips are sure to make to make the process much more simple!