From big projects to small ones, hiring the right contractor is critical to achieving your desired results.
Sure, if you’re updating a few light fixtures or installing a new doorknob, you might be able to handle that on your own. However, if you’re looking at a new renovation project that falls outside of your skill level, it’s best to bring in the pros!
But how do you find the right contractor for the job? Here are six tips to get you started.
Before you even call a contractor, you should be 100% certain that you know what you want. Think about your goals for the project and the results you’re hoping to see. Be as specific as you can, including specific features or products, amenities, and what it will look like in the end.
Not all contractors are suitable for the job. While some contractors are generalists, others are specialists. Make sure you’re choosing a contractor whose abilities are appropriate for your project. For instance, if you’re looking at updating or installing electrical equipment, you’re better off hiring an electrical contractor or electrician specializing in electrical systems.
Never go with the first estimate that you get. Gathering multiple estimates from various contractors will give you more perspective on reasonable costs and give you a clear picture of how contractors stack up against each other. Plan on getting at least three estimates, though five or six is even better.
Whether you found the contractor online or were given a relative referral, you should always do your homework on their credentials. Make sure the company has a current state license and adequate insurance coverage. It’s also essential to make sure there aren’t any formal complaints or pending legal actions against them.
Aside from making sure they’re licensed and insured, you also want to investigate their past work. Reviews from past clients can be very telling. Do they have a portfolio of photos you can look at? Or, if you have friends or family members that have used the same contractor in the past, you can inspect their work firsthand!
Especially if you’re hiring a contractor for a large, costly job, make sure they give you a proposal that breaks everything down into specifics. You want to see costs for labor, materials, fees, and everything else going into the job.
There needs to be a comprehensive written contract before any work begins and before you make any payments. The agreement should detail every step of the project: start date and projected completion date, payment schedule, materials and products to be used, proof of liability insurance, consequences of default by either party and so on. Having a contract isn’t about mistrust but is about ensuring the project is successful, and everyone is happy.