Most home improvement projects require you to hire a contractor. Whether you are taking on a complete basement remodel, or you simply want to renovate your bathroom, you will want to hire a qualified home contractor who can get the job done correctly, on time and on budget. If you are looking to hire a reputable contractor for your home remodeling project, these are a few traits and qualifications that you should to look for:
Verify the Contractor is Licensed, Bonded and Insured
It is imperative that you hire a contractor who is licensed, bonded and insured. A contractor can only be licensed if they have adhered to state-required testing and training. A licensed contractor is aware of the latest developments in their chosen trade, and they are uniquely qualified to complete all home remodeling work that you need done. In addition, it will be important to prove that work was done by a licensed contractor if you intend to sell your home in the future. You also should only hire contractors who are bonded and insured, as this protects you from any potential liability if the contractor is injured while working in your home.
Confirm that the Contractor is Experienced
From small and inexpensive upgrades to full-scale renovations, you will only want to hire a contractor who is experienced with the type of project you are working on. You should ask the contractor to provide you with examples of previous work, and should discuss with them any specializations that they may have.
Evaluate the Contractor's Professionalism
When you take on a new home improvement project, you may meet with several contractors before making your final decision on who to hire. When you get a quote from each contractor, take a moment to evaluate their professionalism. Some things to keep in mind include:
- The amount of communication you received before, during and after the consultation.
- The timeliness of the contractor.
- The way that the contractor presented the quote to you.
- The friendliness and professional demeanor of the contractor.
Ask for References
While it is important to do your own research and evaluate the professionalism of the contractor you are considering, you also should ask the contractor for references. Call these people and talk with them about their own experiences with that contractor. Most references will give you an honest account about the professionalism of the contractor during the job as well as how the results have stood the test of time.
Hire a Contractor with a Trained and Experienced Staff
In many cases, the contractor that you hire will be bringing a team of staff members with them to complete the work. Ideally, the staff that will be completing the job will work directly for the contractor. If the contractor hires a third party team to do the work, then you will want to ask the contractor to provide you with additional information about those workers. You may want to look into their contract workers, and verify that they are experienced, licensed, bonded and insured. Above all, you need to feel confident that the team of workers who will be completing your home improvement project is reliable and trustworthy.
Only Work with a Contractor Who Requires a Contract
Most home improvement projects are a significant financial investment. You don't want to risk a handshake agreement in which the contractor promises to do the job for a specific price. Chuck-in-a-truck contractors often take advantage of homeowners, so doing your due diligence in hiring the right team is critical. You should only hire a contractor if they provide you with a comprehensive price quote and detail the scope of work included in that price. Beware of contractors that surprise you with change order fees because of inaccurate pricing provided at the time of your consultation. Both you and the contractor should sign this agreement before work begins.
When you hire a reputable and experienced home contractor, you will enjoy the best possible results after your home improvement project is complete.
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