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Top Tips to Finding a Reliable Home Contractor

Significance of Finding a Reliable Home Contractor

Home renovations are exciting and stressful at the same time. For many homeowners, it’s no less than an uphill task. While the whole process is somewhat tricky, the hardest task is to find a contractor who is competent and dependable. It’s about renovating and remodeling your home, and you can’t randomly pick any contractor to do the job. It is not wrong to say that a contractor stands at the center of your home renovation process. A reliable and skilled home contractor can mean the difference between a beautiful home and a disaster.

Skilled home improvement contractors can help enhance your home’s value and may also help with saving money on your utility bills. On the other hand, a poor job not only leaves you disappointed but can also be heavy on the pocket. You may have to spend thousands of dollars more for covering up and fixing the deficiencies.

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How to Find a Contractor for Home Renovations?

During home improvement projects, one of the top complaints among homeowners is contracting, as per the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Most of the people don’t consider the same contractor for their future projects because of the poor quality of work.

Even the experienced contractors also drop the ball sometimes. So, finding the right contractor can be a daunting task. Make sure to find a contractor who knows his/her job well. Perhaps, you are wondering, “Who are the best contractors near me?” This post will help you find the answer. Here are some tips for finding a contractor –an efficient one for your home renovation.

1 Get an Estimate

First things first, before you hunt for a contractor, you should know what you want. It is recommended to get a rough estimation of the renovation cost. Also, you should have an outline or a plan before you consult a home contractor. Some basic homework will save you from paying double or triple the amount for the job. For an accurate estimate, you should have specific details in mind or on paper. For instance, you should know

  • What kind of material you want for the renovation?
  • What quality material suits best for your needs?

The next part is to decide if you just want the job done or want it done the right way from the first time. It’s a no brainer; you’d definitely want the best home improvement contractors. There are many seasoned as well as brand new home remodeling companies in the market. While established companies have years of experience and set standards, a new company may seem more attractive for low pricing.

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2 Look for the References

Your friends, relatives, and colleagues are the primary source when it comes to gathering info about the best contractors near you. Talk to the people in your neighborhood or at your workplace who have had similar projects done. Perhaps, you can prepare a list of some of the reliable contractors based on the information. Besides, if you have contacts in the building industry or the hardware stores, you may consult them. The people in the building business, especially, can be a valuable source of referrals. Contact as many people as you can. It’s alright to invest your time at the initial stage. You want to make sure to find a contractor who will do his job well from the beginning to the end. Who knows this little investment may save you from a disaster in the future.

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3 Read the Online Reviews

Once you have gathered the primary data, it’s time to look at the secondary sources, i.e., the reviews of the past clients. Perhaps, it is one of the best ways to make the right decision. Don’t worry as you don’t have to visit each customer personally. Thanks to the digital revolution, many online websites that allow you to read reviews about different contractors sitting in your living room. Whether you want to retile your bathroom or want a complete remodeling of your home, it is recommended to read the reviews. The reviews say a lot about the competency of the contractors. You will have a better idea of the expertise and the fields where they lack. Also, from the experiences of others, you can find about the communication skills of the contractor and their ability to tackle emergencies.

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4 Check the Portfolio

By now, you probably have shortlisted some of the best home improvement contractors. The “investigation” is not over yet. Go through the past work of the contractors you are considering to hire. It will help you evaluate the quality of their work and also an affirmation that they have expertise in handling projects similar to yours. Do not hesitate to ask the contractor for their work portfolio; either it is in the form of pictures, videos, or both. The best thing is that most contractors have a separate portfolio section on their websites that allow you to browse past projects with a click. You may even request the contractor for an on-site visit. Looking at the number of projects a company has handled, their work quality, and customer feedback will help a great deal. Make sure to shortlist the contractors who are experienced in handling the projects like yours.

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5 Interview More than Two Potential Contractors

Now that you have the list of potential contractors, we are heading to the final stage of selection. Conduct meetings with at least two or more contractors that are the best for your project. Ask them a relevant set of questions and compare their responses. Also, ask for written bids from the parties so you can easily compare the bids. However, make sure that the contractors have the same material that you need and offer the same services that you require for your project. The comparison will allow you to make the best decision. Each contractor will have something good to offer. Even if you have reached a decision already, meeting different contractors can be a good learning experience. Come to the negotiation part after the contractor has submitted the bid. There is no harm in negotiating with the contractor before you sign the contract.

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6 Hire a Licensed Home Contractor

The best home improvement contractors have general liability and auto insurance for every project they take. Make sure your home contractor is one of them. Check with the concerned authorities if your contractor has a license according to your state and municipality law. It is a smart way to protect yourself in case something happens to the contractor’s equipment while working on your project. Also, you can check if there are any complaints against the contractor. Make sure to check your contractor’s license and insurance before asking for a bid. Besides, many companies have bonding –an agreement on the terms – for each project. A contractor should have no issues in providing a copy of their license, insurance, and bond upon your request. Don’t forget to ask for the licenses of the sub-contractors hired by the contractor for the project.

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7 Be Patient

It is important to understand that the experts in any filed have a lot on their platter. If you expect to get the job done in the best possible manner, then be also ready for some delay. It doesn’t mean that you should wait for a year for a rather simple project. Understand that your contractor may already be working on a project or have bookings for a couple of months. Be flexible and let the contractor finish their pending projects first. You won’t regret waiting for some time when you see the final result.

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The MainTake Away

To find the best home improvement contractors is a harder job than the renovation work itself. A good and reliable contractor can be the game-changer. If you don’t want to cry over spilled milk, make sure to follow the tips to find the right contractor.

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