Want Good Contractors? Remember These Factors


We don’t do everything ourselves, so if you’ve got a big home project that needs completing you’ll probably want to hire a contractor. But how do you avoid hiring a bad contractor?

Referrals

A lot of the time, people choose to work with contractors who have been specifically referred to them by someone they know. This isn’t always possible, however. If you have your own on a contractor, then look for referrals or reviews from independent sources. You should find out if there were any mistakes, if they would work with that contractor again, and if there were any unexpected costs.


License

In most states, contractors need a license or, at the very least, a certificate of achievement in their field in order to complete paid work. The problem is that many homeowners just assume that everything is in order when they’re looking for contractors - as though unlicensed contractors would all already have been caught. Make sure they also have workers compensations as well as general liability insurance - without these things, you could be compelled to pay for any injuries they sustain on the job.

Expertise

It’s best that you hire a contractor who has proven expertise in the particular area in which you want work done. For example, if you’re looking to extend your home, then you should look for workers who specialize in home extensions. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that contractors can basically do any job you throw at them. This, of course, isn’t true - and a contractor with no prior experience in a given job may end up making quite a miss of it. Getting it fixed is going to be a long and expensive hassle, so get it right in the first place by ensuring that the worker in question has proven they have the skills.


Communication

You should get into contact with a contractor via email and phone. This is essential if you want to go into a lot of detail before making your final decision. But you shouldn’t assume that you don’t need to meet face to face. The fact is that you can’t get a great grip on what that contractor is like until you’ve done this. You need to know if you can understand each other and that they will be courteous. Another reason to meet them face to face before signing a contract is that it’s not as easy to lie in such a scenario - so if they’re covering something up, it will be easier to tell.

Contract

Make sure you get everything in writing. Whatever is said over the phone or other forms of vocal communication can rarely be valid if certain unwritten promises aren’t fulfilled. Review your contract carefully before you sign it and ensure that it really features everything you need done. The payment details also need to be in order. Speaking of which…


Payment

If a contractor refuses to start the job unless you pay them 100% of the fee upfront, then work with someone else. Even 50% upfront is considered quite high in this fields. Make sure you both come to a fair and reasonable agreement when it comes to upfront costs and the final payment. This involves a close reading of the contract, too. Otherwise, you may end up paying full whack for a bad job.