How To Hire A Reliable Contractor
A Guest Post by: Hillary Hansen
Remodeling can be both stressful and expensive. To help put your mind (and occasionally your wallet) at ease during a renovation, hiring a GREAT Contractor should be at the top of your list of priorities. Hiring a Contractor that you can trust will help to assure that your project gets done on time, your budget isn’t blown out of the water, and your expectations are either met or exceeded. There’s nothing worse than having to live with a renovation you hate, knowing that by hiring a different person, it could have been avoided. Here’s what we recommend to our clients when researching which Contractor to hire.
Learning is a key component
1. Education is important… Both building and electrical codes are updated every 3 years. Is the person you are looking at up to date on the newest codes and best practices? Making sure you know the answer to this question can save you from having to hire someone else to fix a job that could cause problems down the road.
2. …but it does NOT replace experience. We advise our clients to only consider Contractors with AT LEAST 5 years working hands-on in the trades. Most states do not have licensing requirements for Contractors, so being able to check a potential Contractors references thoroughly and see examples of his/her previous work is of the utmost importance.
3. What do his/her references have to say? Far too many people skip the “calling the references” step. They may look to see that they’re actually listed, but never pick up the phone. Our advice? PICK UP THE PHONE. Ask for details on if the Contractor was easy to work with, if the project was completed on time and on budget, and if they would hire them again. Many previous clients will often offer up more information than you ask for!
4. Angie’s List and The BBB. Research the person or company you are considering hiring before you sign on the dotted line. How long have they been in business for? What are they rated? Have they had any complaints? And if so, were they resolved to the client’s satisfaction?
5. Do they carry insurance? If something goes wrong during or following a renovation that was your Contractors fault—do you want YOUR homeowner’s insurance to pay for it? Of course not. Make sure not only your Contractor is covered, but any subcontractors he/she hires are covered as well. And don’t just ask about it—make sure you physically see a certificate.
Hillary Hansen is a featured writer for Unique Online Furniture, Inc., where you can find beautiful white bath vanities and mirrored medicine cabinets to match. In her spare time she enjoys chasing her toddler around, fixing up things around her house, and getting lost in a good book.