Homes – Getting Started & Next Steps

Finding a Home Improvement Contractor

If you’re selling your home and don’t have the time, experience or tools to do your own home repair or renovation project, you must hire a professional. However, not just anybody will do. In most states, homeowner complaints against contractors are some of the most common – if not the most common – types of consumer complaints at the state attorney general’s office.

But it’s true as well that there are several of high-quality and trustworthy contractors out there.

Finding a Contractor

There are three key ways to locate a contractor for your planned home improvement or repair project:

Personal Referrals

You should talk to family, friends, and colleagues about good contractors. It’s an excellent way to obtain a personal testimonial from someone you trust. Also, keep an eye out for projects in your neighborhood that seem to be doing well.

Phone Books/Directories

You can check out a local directory to find up a contractor. Both yellow pages and white pages have basic listings, which indicate company names and phone numbers, and full-page advertisement, which include the company’s details and services.

Online Referrals

To get online referrerals, check with trade organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors. You can also use free contractor referral services or professional directories where you can find local candidates. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.

Picking a Right Contractor

However you decide to find a contractor, make sure to get several bids from different companies and that they compare apples to apples. Know the kind of materials you have to use even if you have to be asking lots of questions. Any contractor who doesn’t take the time to address your questions should be crossed off your list.

And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can be a good choice, but the old saying about getting what pay for, particularly applies to the construction industry. High-quality contractors are skilled and experienced, have equally skilled and experienced subs, and pay insurance. Of course, there are merely examples of expenses that are incurred in running a well-reputed contractor business.

Finally, pick a contractor whom you think you will be comfortable to work with. You could be spending time with this contractor multiple times a day. You will be discussing costs, the size of your budget, and how you plan to spend it. You could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able to work through them. A contractor with poor communication skills or someone who just rubs you the wrong way is not the right one for you, even if he was perfect for your neighbor.