Selecting A Contractor
February is here and that means home improvement season is starting in full force. Many people start to think about adding additions,remodeling kitchens and redoing bathrooms to outfit their home with the latest technology and to get their dream home look. Picking a contractor to fulfill your home improvement dreams can be a struggle. If you don’t have a contractor you have used before it can be hard to know who to choose.Before you jump on the renovation bandwagon, here are a few things you need to know about choosing a contractor. 1. A contractor who has been in business for a while, someone who is licensed and registered has insurance (liability; worker’s comp), and has a solid reputation. Make sure that they also have a clean bill of health from the Better Business Bureau and from your state’s consumer protection agency. Also consider checking in with your local building department to see if they have a good reputation with their office. 2. Get bids. Once you’ve talked to friends, family, and neighbors as well as separated the good from the bad, get bids from your top three choices, tossing the lowball offer. While we’re all looking for value, be wary if someone comes in several thousand dollars below the others. Yes, it appears to be a great deal, but the contractor is most likely cutting corners somewhere, or may start the project only to tell you down the line that it’s more complicated than initially assumed which can cost you more in the long run. 3. Price isn’t everything. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this contractor, so when you make your decision, think about whether you feel comfortable with their personality, background, methods, and communication skills. If you don’t immediately get good vibes or are having a hard time communicating with the contractor consider choosing someone else. This can save you from a great sea of stress. 4. Be sure to secure a contract and read it very carefully before signing. Every project should have a contract, no matter the size of the estimated work. Every detail about the project should be included in this contract — from a work timetable, (start and finish dates), to description of the work, to materials that will be used and the payment schedule and everything in between, including a time limit for fixing defects. Contracts ensure that if a dispute arises, it can be dealt with in a timely manner and out of court. Hiring a contractor can be daunting but when you find the right fit you should have smooth sailing for your next big project. Be sure to network and research thoroughly before a project to be sure you are getting he best bang for your buck. Remember, once the project is done, it should be inspected by a local municipalities building inspector to be sure that it meets code and is safe for you to inhabit.