Home Improvement: Tips When Hiring A Contractor

The winter season is almost over. The weather will be forgiving soon enough for any home improvement that you want to do and is planning to do. However, the amount of work that you need to do may have piled up since the winter season started. This could mean that you don’t have the time to do a home improvement project on your own. But, you always have the option to hire the professionals to do it for you.

 

Before you hire professional contractors to work on your home improvement projects, here are the tips that you should consider:

 

  • Start With BBB. When you are in the market for home improvement contractors, then you should start it right with BBB or Better Business Bureau. BBB provides a list of credible companies including reviews about their business. This means that you will have a credible source of review and a credible list of contractors that have passed the standards set by the bureau. However, when reading reviews, you should always make sure that you have both sides of the story. Don’t stick to just the consumer side, but also consider where the contractor is coming from. You should also check whether a contractor is registered with BBB, especially if they do projects that exceed $5000 per anum.
  • Compare The Cost. Before you commit to a contractor and sign the papers, you should see to it that you have compared at least three candidates. Use the same criteria for comparison such as labor, time, materials, and building specifications for the said project. When it comes to cost, most of the time, you will always get what you pay for. However, if you are confident that the company that offers the lowest cost can provide you with the same work quality as others with higher cost, then you should go for it. If you also know someone who has used the company’s services before, then it is wise to ask for their advice.
  • Check Their Insurance. It is also important that you check the insurance of the company that you will possibly work with. Make sure that their insurance coverage is up-to-date and that it covers worker compensation, personal liability, and most importantly property damage. Request for a copy of their insurance and their license. As a consumer, you have the right to ask for these. Some of these records are also public, so there should be no problem giving you a copy when needed.
  • Ask For References. Ask the possible contractor for two to three references. Determine whether these previous customers were happy and satisfied with the service that has been rendered to them. Also ask about any aspect of the service that they were not happy about, if there is any. If you also have the time and if the location permits, you can check the output of the company that you wish to hire by driving up to their project sites.
  • Pay in Installments. It is a wise decision not to pay in full the moment you sign a contract with the contractors. It serves a safeguard for you, too! You are also protected by the law as it requires only a third of the entire sum of the contract as a deposit, plus any cost for special materials that needs to be ordered in advance.
  • Always Ask for Receipts. Asking for receipts will not only keep you updated of the cost, but will also guarantee where your money is being put to. Once the project is done, you can also request for a receipt saying you have paid the contractor of whatever sum is left in the contract. Never sign any paper completing the contract if you are not satisfied with the work. Always look out for your best interest and know your rights.
  • Understand The Contract. It is a must that you understand the clause of the contract between you and the contractor. Knowing what is in the contract and understanding them will protect you from any misconduct or breach. Never sign a contract that is not detailed or with blanks. In addition, always ask for a copy for safe keeping.
  • Always Recognize Red Flags. When a contractor has approached you about left over materials from a project they just did and they can offer you a great deal out of it, then you should be weary. Legit contractors do not pull such stunt. So be cautious! This has happened to some homeowners, and you should not fall into the same trap.

 

Finding a reliable contractor is not easy. Thus, it is a must to do your research and take time choosing the best contractor for your home improvement project.