Sunday, April 9, 2017

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Home

When you choose to renovate your house, you're investing a lot of time, money, and faith in the contractor you hire to complete the job. The work that they do will affect your day-to-day life, the efficiency of your home, its longevity, and its resell value. So don't just choose the contractor you see first-spend some time questioning them so that you can determine if they're the right person for the job. After all, you're not just trusting them to enter your home-you're trusting them to come at it with a drill and sledgehammer.

Things to Consider Before You Choose a Contractor

  • Do they have a good reputation? The surest way to choose a contractor is to ask the family and friends you trust. If they don't have any recommendations (or maybe you've recently moved), try the Internet and websites like Angie's List. You want a contractor who is pleasant to work with, has repeat customers, and always leave clients satisfied.

  • Do they have experience? Ideally, you'll find someone who has been in this business for years and has a high level of hands-on knowledge. However, if your budget is smaller or the project's quality isn't crucial, someone with less experience might be a better fit. Also, be sure to ask if they've worked on similar projects to the one you'll be hiring them to take on.

  • Do they subcontract? Sometimes you assume that the person you talk to is the one who will show up at your house on Monday. That's not always the case. Ask if they subcontract and if they do, ask how long they've worked with their subcontractors so that you can establish trust.

  • How many projects do they take on at once? If they take on a handful of projects at one time, be sure to ask what sort of schedule they'll be keeping. It's likely that they'll be away from your house for days or weeks at a time, and it's important that you know when you can expect them to be working.

  • How will they react when complications arise? When complications occur (as they always seem to), ask what the procedure will be. How will they adjust their schedule? Do they ever charge extra? How much?

  • How will they minimize the inconvenience for your family? Home reconstruction can be loud and annoying. Talk to the contractor beforehand about what working hours are appropriate and when they are allowed to enter your home. Consider asking them to use a garage or a sidedoor for an entrance to minimize the amount of debris in your home.

  • What are the details of the contract? Never choose a contractor before you've discussed the contract in detail. Be sure to ask about the following: cost, payment terms, start date, completion date, and a description of the work. You want strong, open communication.

  • Do you trust them? Finally, it's important that you instinctively feel that you can trust this person. Your gut tells you that they'll do the job right and you can trust them in your home. And if you want to be especially careful, you could always do a background check.

Do you homework and ask a lot of questions to be certain that you're going to choose a contractor well suited to your home renovation needs.

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