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What To Look For When Hiring A Contractor

A lot goes into choosing a contractor. Is the price right? Are they insured and licensed? How long have they been in business? You may even want to check their past work or talk to their former clients. It can be overwhelming just to begin, but take one step at a time and you’ll soon have the information you need. Here are some things your need to know when hiring a contractor.

Get Recommendations

Begin by asking your friends and family for recommendations, and then contact the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also go to a building inspector, who will know which home renovation companies follow code standards, or go to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors on a regular basis and knows which ones buy quality supplies and pay their bills on time.

Get Multiple Estimates

Speak with various contractors and obtain written estimates from at least three of them. When comparing various estimates, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Examine building materials, work methods, schedules, and other elements that may differ from one contractor to the next. Be wary of estimates that are either too high or too low.

Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible

Local contractors are a lot quicker to contact if any problems arise in the future, and they are more likely to be more familiar with local building codes. Inquire about the contractor’s actual address in your area. Anyone who goes door-to-door or refuses to leave a contract overnight should be avoided.

Do background checks

It’s time to do some research now that you’ve narrowed down your list. Inquire with previous clients about how their project went and request to see the finished product. How was their previous work? Check if they specialize in the kind of work you want to be done. And check reference about the quality of the products they use as well as their customer service. You can also go to a current job site and see how the contractor works. Is the job site safe and clean? Are the workers polite and careful with the homeowner’s belongings?

A good contractor with more than 5 years of experience is preferable.

Investigate a contractor’s work history and work habits

Some contractors are specialists, while others are generalists; so be sure to check if their skills are relevant to your project. Take the time to inspect their work in person, and look for three things: some resemblance to your project, high-quality materials and workmanship, and consistent client satisfaction. Keep an eye out for subtle clues that indicate professionalism or a lack thereof. Are your phone calls returned within a reasonable amount of time? Are meetings and appointments kept? Do the company’s vehicles and dress code demonstrate pride and cleanliness? Carelessness in these minor details may have a negative impact on work quality.

Check Their Insurance and Bonding

Ascertain that the contractor is adequately insured and bonded. Request a certificate of insurance (COI) from the contractor, which should include the name of the insurance company, policy number, and policy limits. You can contact the insurance carrier directly to confirm coverage and ensure that the policy is still in effect. Don’t do business with a contractor that lacks the necessary insurance coverage. You may be held accountable for accidents that occur on your property if the contractor is not insured.

Get Everything in Writing

Create a contract that covers every aspect of the project, including a payment schedule, proof of liability insurance, and worker’s compensation payments, a start date and projected completion date, the materials and products to be used, and a requirement that the contractor obtains lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers. Insisting on a detailed contract isn’t because of a lack of trust, it’s all about ensuring the success of the renovation.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to construction, whether residential or commercial, it is critical to consider a variety of aspects before selecting a contractor. Take into account their reputation, education, professional references, insurance coverage, and the state in where they are located. Hiring a contractor you know is knowledgeable in their field will put your mind at ease if there are any issues along the way.

Hopefully, this article will help you the next time you’re hiring a contractor.