So you’re looking to remodel or build your home? If you are, you could plan do all the work yourself; however, hiring a contractor is a good idea as a professional home improvement contractor could do wonders to your dream home. If you decide to go ahead and hire a contractor, there are various factors you need to consider as home improvement could prove to be costly if it’s not done right.
Read on to find out how to hire a home improvement contractor.
Get various recommendations
Before you hire a contractor, you need to ask your family and friends if they know anybody. As trust plays an important role in hiring a contractor, it’s safe to hire someone who’s recommended by people you know. In addition, you can also visit a lumberyard in your area as contractors generally buy all their materials from there. This way, you automatically know as to who buys the highest quality materials.
Beware of scams
We all hear about home improvement scams. Generally, such crooked contractors appear asking for work. You can recognize it’s a scam when:
- The contractor comes all of a sudden, from nowhere, and asks for work.
- Offers a discount even before you discuss the scope of work involved.
- Says he has limited time and asks you to arrive at a decision soon.
- Does not show his license and insurance documents.
- Insists that a professional legal contract is not necessary as he is trustworthy and the best in the business.
- Asks for payments in cash, insisting that you pay everything before the work starts.
There are various other situations that should give you red alert signals that the contractor is crooked, but the points mentioned above are the most basic ones. You should remember these before hiring a contractor and make sure you never rush into the process as such things require time.
Conduct numerous phone interviews
Once you have a list of some recommended contractors either from your friends or from a site you trust, you can call each of them and conduct phone interviews. Before you hire a contractor, make sure you ask them several questions. Are they ready to provide references from their previous work? Do they have enough time to concentrate on your project or are they loaded with other projects? Can they take up a project of your size and scope? Once you have these questions answered, you will have a general idea on how to hire a home improvement contractor.
Meet the shortlisted contractors and discuss the budget
Once you have a list of contractors after conducting phone interviews, the next step is to meet them. You can discuss the basic estimates, scope of work and a lot more at this stage. If the contractor is at ease while answering the questions you ask, you can move on to the next stage and discuss the price. Get several bids and though it’s tempting to go with the one who’s the cheapest, remember that the cheapest bid might not necessarily offer good quality. On the other hand, the highest bidder might not provide great work either. Therefore, you need to hit the right balance and hire a contractor who offers a good price with good quality.
Ask to see the contractor’s work
If a contractor is confident, he will be able to show his previous work to you. Depending on the various bids you receive and the work you see, you will be able to hire the best home improvement contractor.
After you’ve decided whom to hire, make sure you do everything legally and draw up legal contracts. Never pay an initial deposit that’s more than about 25% of the total work. In addition, set up a payment schedule that helps both you and the contractor. Also, always make sure that you pay in checks and not in cash, so that you have a record of payment. If you follow all the tips mentioned above, you will definitely hire a first class home improvement contractor.