'Tips For Hiring a Contractor' - Dumpsters.com Collaboration

We partnered up again with Dumpsters.com on an article dedicated to inform homeowners on tips for hiring a contractor. Any remodeling project is an investment of your valuable time and resources, so you owe it to yourself and your family to hire someone you can trust and build a relationship with!
 

Here are some highlights...

 

 

"You get what you pay for."

Almost every homeowner has heard this advice, but many learn it the hard way – especially after hiring the wrong person to work on their house.  

Working with the right contractor or remodeling company makes it more likely that you’ll get your desired result, within your budget and in a reasonable amount of time. But how do you find the best contractor?
 

Do I Need to Hire a Contractor in the First Place?
 

Evaluating contractors can be a lot of work, but if you try to DIY your remodel, you could end up causing yourself much bigger headaches. Even if you’re an avid DIY-er, consider enlisting the help of a professional for any of the following projects:

  • Anything more than a minor cosmetic update, such as painting or replacing existing hardware.
  • An intricate project with many design details.
  • Installing anything custom-built that requires precise measurements, like kitchen cabinetry.
  • If you are unfamiliar with local permit and building code requirements. This would apply to any new home or garage additions. 
     
 
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When Should I Start Looking for a Contractor?
 

If you’re looking to hire a contractor to give you the kitchen of your dreams, don’t put off starting the research and quote process.

Do not wait to schedule the initial consultation; most reputable companies are booked out. If a project cannot start for a few months, that’s OK; the planning and design process take time.

Smaller projects typically take about a month to plan and design in addition to the actual construction time. Large-scale renovations can take three or more months to plan out the space. 

Taking the time to design the space is just as, if not more, important than the construction itself and is critical to the success of any project.

 

Checklist for Selecting a Reputable Home Contractor
 

So how do you avoid getting burned? Here’s what to double check to make sure you are hiring a quality contractor. 

  • Industry Affiliations: Check to see if they belong to any local or national organizations. Qualifying for membership usually means they have a track record of ethical behavior and quality work. 
  • Company Structure: It's important to know who will be working in your home and if the organization has a project manager to serve as your point of contact. Odell also recommends comparing quotes from similarly structured companies to get an apples-to-apples comparison. 
  • Registration: In order to legally perform any remodeling projects, the contractor must be registered in your city. 
  • Portfolio of Work: If there isn't a complete portfolio of work on the website, ask them to provide some before, during and after pictures of some recent projects. Make sure they have experience with similar projects to your and can produce results at the quality level you expect.
  • Awards and Ratings: Third party and independent rating systems are important factors to consider when hiring a contractor. A high BBB rating, Houzz awards, and NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) mentions are all signs of a trustworthy company. 
     
 
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Red Flags to Watch Out For
 

While noting a company’s qualifications, also look out for these signals of potential trouble down the line. 

  • Requesting full payment up front. Typically, a deposit is required up front and the remaining balance is paid when the job is complete. 
  • Any communication issues, including unanswered calls or emails.
  • How they respond to negative customer reviews online - check social profiles, Angie's List and BBB.
  • No contract, written scope of work or drawings.
  • Refusal to guarantee or warranty their work. Most contractors will offer a warranty for a set period of time in case anything needs to be repaired. 
  • Any ambiguous answers to your questions. Whether it's the timeline or materials being used, your contractors should be able to tell you specifics about your project.
 

What to Keep in Mind When Making Your Final Decision
 

  1. You should expect open communication at all times and a contract that clearly lays out the project scope, timeline and payment terms.
  2. Only hire a company that is licensed, insured and provides workman's compensation.
  3. Make sure you truly trust the contractor or company as a partner in your project. If something were to go wrong, would they make it right?

 

 

For full article please see: https://www.dumpsters.com/blog/tips-for-hiring-a-contractor