Get 5 tips on hiring home contractors
At Allen Keith Construction Co, we want you to be comfortable with your home renovations. When remodeling your home it is vital to hire a professional you can trust. Follow these 5 tips to be sure you hire the right home contractors for the job.
Ask around for recommendations
Has someone you know recently hired a contractor? Check with your family, friends, or co-workers for recommendations. Ask about the quality of their work and how easy the contractor was to work with. In addition to personal and online recommendations, look for professional ones. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any disputes have been reported. You can also ask a building inspector which contractors routinely meet code requirements (and which ones don’t).
Interview home contractors on the phone or face-to-face
Home contractors will be spending many hours in your home, so it is important to find someone who understands and connects with you. Make a list of contractors, and call them on the phone. Ask a few questions to determine if you feel they will be a good fit for your project.
- Are you licensed?
- What types of insurance do you carry?
- How many projects like mine have you completed in the last six months?
- Could I see a sample of your work?
- Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If so, are they licensed? Do they have insurance?
Use the phone calls to see if there is someone you would like to eliminate from your list.
Avoid home contractors who might not be reputable
Most local contractors who have been in business for years are a great choice, but it never hurts to be careful. Be aware that the following signs could mean a contractor is trying to scam you:
- Pressures you to make a decision or to sign a document you haven’t read, or that has blank spaces to be filled in after you sign
- Asks you to pay a large down payment up front, or is only willing to accept cash
- Asks you to get the required building permits
- Quotes a final price without seeing the job
Ask your home contractors for written estimates
Make sure all contractors have a complete set of blueprints. Have them provide you a written estimate with a breakdown list of all costs, including labor, materials, and any other expenses. Be wary of an extremely low bid, and consider throwing it out. If a contractor is significantly cheaper than the others, he is probably cutting corners, or desperate for work.
Get everything in writing
Before you commit to a contractor for your project, get everything in writing. Be sure to ask for proof of liability insurance, as well as a specific, written contract. Your contract should detail the entire project including start and completion dates, specific materials being used, complete sets of drawings, etc. It should also detail the payment schedule for your project.