8 Tips For Finding The Best Contractor


Finding The Best Contractor Isn't Easy

Con artists come in all shapes, sizes and professions. They may not break into your home and steal your belongings, but they can still make your life miserable. They act more subtly, dress for the job and sport professional logos. And their crimes really hurt, because con artists steal your money and betray your trust. Unprofessionalism and deceit are not uncommon in the construction industry. The wrong contractor can cause you more stress than you ever imagined. If you want to ensure that you hire the right person for the job, pay attention to the following tips: SEE ALSO: 5 Renovations That Kill Your Property Value

1. Ask Their Areas Of Expertise

Wearing the label “contractor” doesn’t guarantee a high level of expertise in all areas, and your contractor may not be skilled in what your specific project requires. When interviewing potential candidates, ascertain if they:
  • Possess the specific skills needed to complete your project masterfully
  • Will take care of necessary permits
  • Will have the work inspected
If you ask the right questions, you can prevent a disaster.

2. Never Trust A Door-To-Door Contractor

Reputable providers will never solicit their services door-to-door. Beware of contractors who show up on your premises with promises and discounts. Their desperation should be a warning sign.

3. Make Sure They Are Licensed And Insured

Contractors must be licensed and insured to operate their businesses. Ask for your contractor’s license number, and contact your local municipality to verify his identity. His insurance can protect you, should a problem arise.

4. Obtain References

Reputable companies welcome homeowners who ask for references. Obtain at least five references, and ask them about their level of satisfaction with the contractor’s work, behavior, work ethic, reliability, and cleanliness. Friends and family are also helpful resources for recommendations.

5. Get Multiple Estimates

Obtain at least three quotes that include: labor and material costs, project completion date, warranties, guarantees and payment details. Be specific and detailed, so you can compare point-by-point. The estimates should include a statement that puts the responsibility on the contractor to notify you, should any part of the job suddenly change. You never want to be caught off guard or face unwelcomed surprises.

6. Don't Sacrifice Quality For A Bargain

The lowest-priced quote is not always the best. Read through every piece of paperwork, and understand all warranties. Base your decision not only on price, but also on the number of satisfied customers, level of professionalism, and overall quality. SEE ALSO: Home Improvement Loans: The Need-To-Know Options

7. Don’t Pay Upfront

If a contractor asks you for a lump sum upfront, it may be cause for concern. A small deposit is acceptable, however, after that, pay only for work that has been completed to your satisfaction.

8. Go With Your Gut

Sometimes, your intuition can be your greatest guide. If you've done the necessary research and are still on the fence, when in doubt, trust your gut. It could very well be your most reliable source.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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