Tag Archives: Contractor

How To Hire A Home Improvement Contractor

Hiring the right contractor will probably be the most crucial decision you make after making the initial decision to renovate your home. More important than the color of your bathroom tiles or the type of flooring you install in the kitchen, your contractor will oversee your entire renovation project, hopefully keep you on budget, manage any hired workers, and act as your professional quality control. The work of an inattentive contractor can result in a project that runs weeks beyond its deadline and thousands of dollars over budget. That would be a formula for failure!

This is why it’s so important to select a reputable contractor. But how do you do it? Keep reading for some easy tips on how to hire the best home improvement contractor.

1. Come Prepared with a Plan

Before you even begin to search for a home contractor, develop a solid idea of what you want to accomplish with your home improvement project before you start. Consider, though, that a contractor is not a designer, so begin a project with your own ideas about how in the end you want the final outcome of the work to look.

Taking that initial step will make it easier for you to set a budget and for your prospective contractors to give you an accurate quote and project timeline.

2. Obtain Contractor Referrals

Ask your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors for contractor recommendations out of their own experiences – whether positive or negative. If, for example, your prospective contractor did a wonderful job on your sister’s house, then chances are he’ll do a great job on yours as well.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask any prospective home improvement contractors for references that you can actually call. If the person you are considering for the role is a high quality professional, then there should be no problem supplying you with the names and numbers of other satisfied customers. Once you have secured those references, make the calls!

Another avenue is to type your contractor’s name into an online search engine and see if any negative or positive reviews pop up in the search results. For example, “John Smith contractor references.”

3. Don’t be Timid about Asking Questions

When interviewing a prospective home improvement contractor, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, and make them the right questions.

Inquire about details of their contracting background and how it relates specifically to your project. For example, if your project includes a major overhaul of the deck and backyard, verify that they have experience managing landscaping projects.

Ask your potential renovation contractor how improvements might be made on your prospective plan and changes necessary to complete it under budget. An experienced contractor should be able to take a brief look through a plan and offer a number of practical suggestions.

When he presents you with a time estimate, always ask how that timeline was derived and what work will be completed in each phase. A knowledgeable contractor will have reasoning behind why he’s pegged this particular project at 6-8 weeks.

Finally, always ask to see a portfolio of previous work. The additional work to ensure you have an experienced and reliable home improvement contractor will be well worth the effort in the end.

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Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

Home improvement projects are often a challenge, and hiring a home improvement contractor often becomes necessary. Hiring a contractor for such projects might sound easy, but the contractor has to be hired with discretion and good judgment to achieve the best results.

A good home improvement contractor would be able to follow up a project from start to finish, and deliver the required results within a given time frame. But the challenge is to find such a contractor, and ensure a smooth deal, from hiring the contractor to handover. Some of these easy tips on hiring a contractor should help you with the process:

First and foremost, remember that hiring the first contractor you come across is not the best idea. You need a to shortlist a few likely contractor candidates before hiring the best out of them. Try to consider only those home improvement contractors who have been recommended by friends, colleagues or acquaintances.

In case such recommended contractors are fewer than you would like to choose from, ask other contractors for references from previous clients. Hiring a contractor who has been recommended online is also a great option. Check out and interact with all such references before hiring. A good tip is hiring a contractor who has done similar jobs before.

Before hiring the final contractor for the job, ask all the contractors in your shortlist to give you a formal bid for your project. Do not automatically choose the lowest bidder. Do your home work by asking about charges from people who have local experience in hiring such contractors and ask them for tips. Determine the cost of materials, fixtures and finishes that your contractor will use by visiting a home improvement store yourself.

While hiring a contractor, also ensure that he or she fulfils any licensing requirements of your state. The home improvement contractor should have established his credentials beyond any doubt, and have a good reputation. The contractor should also preferably carry insurance against issues like worker’s compensation, damage to property, and any personal liabilities.

Have a very clear, fixed idea of what sort of home improvement you need done before you start off with the contractor. The clearer you are in your mind, the better the contractor would understand you. It will also save you from unplanned costs incurred due to changes during the process of home improvement.

Once you have decided on your contractor, the hiring process should include the signing of a very clear contract with your home improvement contractor which would clearly state the materials to be used, the terms of demolition, required cleanup, and elimination of trash. The time frame for completion, payment terms, and release from any lien for any sub-contractors used should also be arranged to your mutual satisfaction.

Payment plans should be well thought out. Keep in mind that payment is the only leverage you can use to get the job done by the contractor according to your expectations. A good tip is to make final payments to the home improvement contractor only once you are happy with the finished job.

Hire a contractor you can get along with very well, because the contractor would be in your house for quite a duration. Hiring someone who would have the right amount of time to devote to your project is also crucial, because sometimes hiring an extra-busy contractor can turn out to be a mistake.

Hiring a contractor is often the best way to carry out major improvements in your home. With the help of these tips you should be able to hire a great contractor, and carry out your home improvements without a hitch.

Get more FREE information written by Joseph Then at his website at Home Improvement Tips Website