A very direct statement about home contractors is that many are bad. Several homeowners have had bad experiences with them. They are not regular about answering telephone calls, showing up at the specified time, doing what they state, etc. However, not all home contractors are bad. There are great ones too. However, many people do not know how to distinguish a quality contractor from substandard ones. They understand their mistake quite a while after having done the hiring. Below are some steps for recognizing quality home renovation contractors prior to hiring one.
The first step to finding quality home renovation contractors
It is very important to make a list of contractors first. The list will have the name and phone number of several contractors in the locality of a homeowner. A popular method for making this list is referrals. The homeowner can inquire with folks about the contractor they generally hire.
If the homeowner knows a contractor that has done very well earlier, chances are that the company will excel again. The homeowner can ask his family members and pals randomly, even when he doesn’t want a contractor immediately. He can casually ask people, “hey, who did you hire for this work?”
What is another casual way of making a list of home renovation contractors? It is speaking with contractors doing a specific job and inquiring about who they prefer to work with. The reason is that a quality professional will like working with quality professionals in his niche. An example is a homeowner finding a carpenter who has finished a job well. He can ask the carpenter, “hey, are you acquainted with a quality plumber?”
Other ways are:
- To take random pictures of contractor signs to contact
- To search on Yelp or any popular business review site
- To ask a worker at Lowes or The Home Depot, or any home store about the professionals at their disposal
After building a list of home contractors, it is important to pre-screen them. The opinion of the homeowners list of contractors starts when he speaks to them via emails, phone calls, or personally. The homeowner should put in some queries to know them better. Some questions are:
- How long have they been working for?
- What in their opinion is the skill they excel in?
- What are the tasks they like avoiding the most on a work site?
- What distance is too far for them?
- The number of workers who work for them?
- What are the dates and times that they are currently booked?
- What are the changes for which a permit is needed?
- Should the homeowner hire them, when can they begin doing tasks on his project?
Next is making an appointment to meet them and show them the project. The homeowner should arrive minutes before the scheduled time to see when they turn up.
- Do they arrive at the right time, before the scheduled time, or do they arrive late?
- Do they look professional?
- How do they speak?
Next are the other steps in hiring quality home renovation contractors –
The second step
The first thing the homeowner should do when searching for information about a contractor is open Google and enter the name. The homeowner can get ample information, and even red flags about a contractor.
What is a something that should be searched in the search engine? Entering the city name followed by words like rip off, court, scam, etc.
Such things will help find more information on any trouble a certain contractor has been involved in. Such terms can determine big grievances regarding a certain contractor. However, the homeowners should also remember that all complaints aren’t valid.
The third step
Next is requesting a contractor to cite some people they have worked for. Better than just phone numbers are the names along with addresses. Next is calling up those people and visiting them, if possible, to see their projects. It is also important to make some polite inquiries like:
- What was the work that a contractor did?
- What was the turnaround time?
- Did a contractor arrive at the scheduled time?
- Was the approach professional?
- Was the behavior courteous?
- Did they face any problems with a contractor during a project?
- Would they use the services of the contractor a second time?
- Is it possible to have a look at the job the contractor did?
- Did a contractor complete the job within the stipulated time and at the quoted budget?
With these queries, the homeowner will better understand a contractor’s ability and history.
And the homeowner should try to examine the contractor’s job and ensure that it meets his standards.
Another thing you can ask is requesting the contractor to inform about a big project they completed recently. It is common for contractors to boast of their big project and the great results. Next is to know the project’s city and address and authenticate that a permit was acquired. If not, it is better to avoid that contractor.
The fourth step
Before the homeowner trusts a contractor with his project, it’s good to ensure that the contractor wins the trust. How is this possible?
- By verifying that the contractor has a license for doing the wanted job
- By verifying that the contractor has the appropriate insurance and bond – The homeowner can request a contractor to produce evidence. The homeowner can inquire about a contractor’s insurance agent’s name and authenticate with the agent.
This step is vital for the protection of the homeowner.
The fifth step
As an example : the homeowner could hire a contractor for a small-scale job with a small budget ahead of hiring for the whole basement removal. The homeowner can then get a rough understanding of the contractor’s
- Work ethic
- Work standard
- Adherence to arriving at work at the right time
- Adherence to a specified turnaround time
- Adherence to a specified budget
You will also know whether the work is up to the desired standard
After this, you can consider the contractor for more large-scale jobs.
Just as important is hiring several home renovation contractors for several small-scale jobs and checking out which one suits you the most.
The sixth step
To get good work from home renovation contractors, the homeowner needs to manage them well. Bad management is why many home renovations end up less than desired. What should the homeowner do? He should work out a detailed document listing 100% of what will be addressed, what’s incorporated, and what isn’t. The homeowner must not make a payment before inspecting the work. For a more large-scale job, it’s good to disperse the payments throughout the job. It ensures that the contractor doesn’t get more than the necessary money upfront, but isn’t needy for weeks or even months. A good practice is to ensure that a contractor bid form is made and shared on a server everyone can access.
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