For complicated home improvement projects, hiring a contractor is the way to go. However, unless you have recommendations from friends or family, it can be difficult to find a reliable contractor. At best, an unreliable contractor can slow things down. At worst, they can provide sub-par work that might not hold up long term.
Sub-par work might also not be up to code, causing complex legal problems that can be expensive to fix. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a contractor to work on your home.
Tip #1: Follow Your Instincts
When choosing a contractor, think about the scope of a project. Larger projects can keep a contractor around for weeks, so you will want to make sure that the contractor is someone that you feel comfortable having around your family. You will need to trust your contractor completely, so if you find that they are stretching the truth during their initial estimates, you might be better off finding someone else.
Tip #2: Choose an Expert
Consider the type of home improvement project that you want to complete and make sure your contractor specializes in that line of work. A specialized contractor will be better equipped to deal with potential issues that might pop up during the renovation process. Many general contractors are good at several different types of projects, but most of these “jack of all trades” contractors have more experience in some areas than others. A specialized contractor is guaranteed to have the necessary experience to complete your project quickly and successfully.
Tip #3: Check for Appropriate Licenses
In most specialties, a legitimate contractor will need to pass an exam to certify that they have a full understanding of the building codes and regulations surrounding the renovation process. Ask potential contractors for their license number so you can double check that they have the necessary certifications for the project.
At this time, you should also check that your contractor has their own liability insurance. You will not want to be responsible for any injuries that occur while the contractor is on your property.
Tip #4: Compare Bids Carefully
If you are looking for someone to work on a complex project, you might shop around and get quotes from several different local contractors. If this is the case, you need to make sure that you are accurately comparing each quote. Make sure that each contractor is billing you for identical services. Often times, a bid that seems more expensive at first glance will actually end up being cheaper when you look at what is included in and excluded from the quote. You should also make sure each quote uses the same quality building materials. While you will want to save money where you can, a cheaper quote is not always better.
To learn more about renovating your current home or planning renovations for a new property, talk to one of Huntley Realty’s members today through [mail_to email=”email@example.com”]firstname.lastname@example.org[/mail_to] or call 847.669.4010. We can help you choose the right home for your family and offer tips on potential renovations and local contractors.