Hiring a contractor is one of the best ways to get home repairs done quickly, but you’ll want to be cautious when deciding exactly who to hire. Consider these five tips on how to find a contractor to help make sure you choose the best person for the job.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations of good, trustworthy contractors. Then, check with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to search for a credible contractor near you. You can also visit to your local lumberyard and ask for recommendations.
Do Phone Interviews
Once you have assembled a list of recommendations, make a quick phone call to each prospect and ask them basic questions. Ask them if they are willing to provide financial references from either suppliers or banks, if they have ever taken on a project like yours, how long they have worked with their subcontractors, etc. The answers to these questions will likely tell you a lot about the company, such as their availability, reliability and how much attention they will be able to give your project.
Meet Face to Face
After narrowing down your phone interview list, decide which contractors you want to meet with face-to-face. This will give you an opportunity for further discussion of the specific work you need done, and allow you to get a feel for how the contractor works. One rule of thumb when determining how to find a good contractor is to look for people who answer your questions in a confident manner that puts you at ease. Communication between you and your contractor will be very important, since they will likely be spending lots of time in your home!
Get At Least Three Bids
It’s a good idea to get multiple bids from multiple contractors. At this point you have done all the initial research, and it’s time to start talking about your project. A good contractor will be able to show you detailed blueprints based on what you want out of the project (and what you plan to spend). Ask prospective contractors to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins, and other expenses so that you can effectively compare bids.
Understand Your Payment Options
Setting a payment schedule with your contractor is a good idea to ensure the best quality work. For large projects, a payment schedule usually starts with 10 percent down at contract signing. Try to make payments during the project contingent upon completion of defined amounts of work. That way, if the work isn’t going according to schedule, the payments to your contractor are also delayed.