News For This Month: Houses

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 anyone will do. In most cases, complaints filed by homeowners against contractors are one of the largest categories of consumer complaints the state attorney general’s office deals with.

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

Finding a Contractor

There are three common ways to find a contractor for your home improvement or repair project:

Personal Referrals

Talk to your relatives, friends, and co-workers regarding worthwhile companies. It’s an excellent way to obtain a personal testimonial from someone you trust. Keep an eye out for neighbors projects as well that seem to be doing well.

Phone Books/Directories

You can use a local directory to search for a contractor. Yellow and white pages have both basic listings, with company names and phone numbers, to full-page ads that include more information about the companies, their contact details and services offered.

Online Referrals

Professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which issues certifications to contractors, are a great sources of online referrals. There are also professional directories or free contractor referral services that provide leads. Of course, those consumer watchdog websites that feature contractor reviews and ratings are also very helpful.

Selecting a 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 what kind of materials are going to be used even if you have to ask plenty of questions. If the contractor won’t take the time to answer your questions, forget about them.

And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The cheapest bidder could be a good choice, in the construction industry, the old adage about getting what you pay for is especially true. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay insurance. There are definitely other costs that come along with operating a reputable contractor business, and those are just a few.

Finally, find a contractor you can actually get along with. You could be on the phone with this contractor many times a day. You will be talking about money, your budget and what exactly you’d like to do with it. You can have disagreements about the details, and you have to work through them. A contractor who has poor communication skills or just rubs you the wrong way is not the right choice for you, even if he clicked so well with a friend.