How to Choose a Great Contractor

When you want to undertake a major household renovation, you’ll need to rely on a professional contractor. It’s essential to ensure you take the time to look for the best contractor in your area for the type of project you want to undertake. Following an established strategy will help you hire a contractor who is worth your time and money.

Ask For Recommendations

You can begin your search for a contractor by asking your friends, co-workers, and relatives about any contractors they have used in the past. The goal is to gather a list of potential contractors who all have good reputations in your community. In the ensuing steps, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices to two or three contractors, but, as you start out, you should have a list of seven to 10 choices. If you end up changing your mind about your final choice, you’ll still have these choices as backup options.

Look For Specialized Experience

As you look for ways to narrow down your choices, you should start eliminating contractors who don’t have the experience you require. You should be choosing only those contractors who have the specialized type of experience in handling the work you want to be done in your home. For example, if you need a new roof installation, you’ll want someone experienced in installing a variety of contract Austin roof types. Even when a contractor says they have handled a variety of types of renovations, you’ll still want to ensure they have done the type of work that’s involved with your project. After all, a contractor who has never done a kitchen or bath renovation may not have the skills to know how to handle the plumbing and electrical issues that are specific to that type of renovation.

Look For Work Samples

Your next step is to schedule telephone interviews to ask questions of each contractor. You should write down a list of questions and make several copies of your list to use as a guide for interviewing each contractor. In addition to asking about their experience, licenses, and insurance, you should ask them for references. Tell them you want to see some samples of your work and would like to talk to previous customers. You can also check the website and social media pages for each contractor. They should have photos posted of their past projects. If you can arrange tours with their past customers, an in-person viewing can help you to better evaluate the quality of the contractor’s work.

Check Customer Reviews

As you get into the latter stage of your search for the best contractor to complete your project, it will be time to look at previous customer reviews. There are a number of different sites that you can use to look over reviews for each contractor. Start out with the Better Business Bureau, Google, Yelp, and other consumer advocacy sites, but you should also check out professional organizations. Find out what associations each contractor has joined, and look them up on the sites for those organizations. This can help you learn if the contractor has been disciplined or sued over misconduct as well as helping you review the specific experiences of past customers.

Request Estimates

By this time, you should have your choices narrowed down to two or three contractors. Schedule an in-person meeting with each of them to request a detailed estimate for your project. You should be aware that time estimates for completing the job are tentative and subject to change, but you should still request their evaluation of how long the job will take. You’ll also want a detailed cost estimate. When you review estimates, don’t choose a contractor based solely on price. Look at how they calculate the costs and compare those costs between the different contractors’ estimates. This will help you determine which contractor is offering the best quality of work at the most reasonable price.

You should also take your own feelings or instincts into account when hiring a contractor. If you dislike the contractor, you should look for a different company to hire. While this might seem like a trivial matter, it’s important to be able to trust the contractor you hire. Otherwise, there may be communication problems that could adversely affect the outcome of your project.

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