To most homeowners, the hardest part of any renovation project is not the work itself, it is finding a reliable and competent remodeling contractor to do the job. Getting the right contractor makes the difference between a disastrous home renovation and the successful one. This article outlines 5 tips to help you find a good contractor who will get the job done right:
- Ask for referrals
Word of mouth is one of the best ways of finding a professional remodeling contractor. Ask your colleagues, relatives, friends and neighbors to refer you to a contractor they have had a good experience with. Employees of a local hardware or someone in the building trade can also provide referrals.
- Check references
Before hiring the contractor, ask to see some of his projects and request for references. You should also call at least three of his former customers and, if possible, visit their homes to see how the renovation was done. If not, you can just ask how their experience was with the contractor and if they were pleased with the outcome.
- Checks for licensing, litigation history and complaints
Most states require residential remodeling contractors to be licensed. Check to confirm that the contractor you are about to hire is has a valid license which is very important in the case of any accident when the work is ongoing.
Also, check with the municipal contractors board if there are any complaints filed against the contractor as well as his litigation history.
- Look at the credentials and experience
Check if the contractor has invested is any course work and passed the tests in order to earn the certificate. This shows that the contractor is committed to what he does and is always willing to keep himself updated.
Also, check how long the contractor has been in business; many years of experience shows that he does perfect remodeling work which explains why he is still in business.
Interview the contractor
Narrow down the candidates to about three contractors and set up meetings. Now ask questions related to your renovation project like cost estimates, the best materials to use, and the time frame. Ask as many questions and pay attention to how the contractor answers the questions.
If you do not feel comfortable with any contractor, then trust your instincts and let him go. Only hire a contractor that you can easily communicate to and one who is willing to explain to you in details what your project entails.