5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Contractor

April 2, 2014

Hiring a contractor

Completing home improvements can be one of the most satisfying projects in your life; however, they can also be stressful. If you’re planning to hire a contractor to do the work on your home for you, then take some of the stress out of the picture and use our helpful tips to make sure you’re hiring the right person or company to do the job.

Know what you want

As the client, you are the one driving the whole process. With this in mind, remember to take some time to think about your goals for the project – what you want it to look like, the features you want, and so on.

Get a range of quotes

It is advisable to get at minimum of three quotes for your job. However, getting up to six will probably give you a clearer picture of how the different contractors stack up against each other. It will allow you to get more of a perspective on appropriate costs, but also you’ll get an idea of the calibre of work that each contractor will provide. For example, one contractor may offer a bargain rate and provide average work, while another could have a high bid which could indicate quality.

Do background checks

Even if a friend or relative has recommended a contractor that he or she has used before, it is advisable to establish some minimum credentials. Get the full company name and address, and ensure that the firm has a current license and adequate insurance coverage. Also, find out if any formal complaints or legal actions have occurred in the past or are pending.

Investigate a contractor’s work history

It is advisable to take time to view the contractors work first-hand. You should look for three things: some similarity to your project, quality materials and workmanship, and consistent client satisfaction.

Be aware of contract details

It is vital to be aware of all the contract details between you and your contractor. Typically, a contract should include start and completion dates, information on applicable building permits and fees (typically handled by the contractor, but legally your responsibility), a description of what products and services are to be provided by the contractor, payment terms, subcontractor issues (such as license and insurance verification), and the consequences of default by either party. Default can include a contractor’s failure to pay subcontractors.

Finally, remember that home renovations, like window and door replacement, can be  very challenging, that’s why it’s important to hire a qualified expert in the field, who not only can do the job to an extremely high standard but also can provide a very professional service to you the client.

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