In: Home & Family9 Jul 2013
Choosing a contractor for your home improvement project can be a little overwhelming if you are not familiar with construction basics or home repairs services in your neighborhood. The first thing you should do before you start calling local contractors is clearly define your needs. The more details you can list on the phone, the easier it will be to get an accurate bid for your job.
Make sure that you also prepare your budget ahead of time. Don’t think of the top of your price range as a working budget because you might need extra money for unexpected repairs. Home improvement projects often involve additional costs that are impossible to predict, so it’s important to keep your budget fluid.
After you have identified your needs, budget and time constraints, ask trusted friends and acquaintances for contractor referrals. Contact area home repair contractors that have a good reputation. If you’re not able to obtain recommendations from anyone you know and trust, go online and search for reviews and other information about local companies.
Before contacting a contractor, write down the questions you’d like to ask. The list will keep you from forgetting anything important if you’ll be talking to more than one home repair contractor. Don’t forget to ask about the contractor’s qualifications and experience after describing your project. Hiring a licensed home improvement contractor is extremely important, even though you might be tempted to hire someone who gives you a lower bid. If an unlicensed contractor makes a mistake, corrections can be very costly. Your home repair or home improvement project could end up being more expensive in the long run.
In addition to having the proper licensing, the contractor you hire should have liability and workers compensation insurance to protect you and the workers from unexpected problems and injuries. If, for example, your home is damaged during the home repair project, the contractor’s liability insurance should pay for correcting the damage.
The last thing you should do when hiring a contractor is sign an agreement and come up with a schedule. Be clear about when you expect your contractors to be at your home and make sure you get it in writing. Look over your contract carefully before signing it to avoid any conflicts or disagreements after your home improvement projects gets started.