The following guest post is from Contractor Connection, a national leader in providing trustworthy, top-quality professionals for your home improvement or repair project.
Making any sort of improvement to your home, whether it’s a much-needed repair or a renovation you’ve wanted for a while, is an investment. That is why it’s important to hire the right professional for the job.
With so many contractor fraud stories in the news, it can be difficult to know who you can trust. Here are 10 helpful hints to remember when hiring a contractor.
Is Your Contractor Properly Licensed?
Even if you hire an unlicensed contractor without knowing and something goes wrong, there is very little action you can take against them. Make sure the contractor’s license is up to date for the type of work the project requires, and verify it is in fact a contractor’s license and not just a business license.
Is Your Contractor Properly Insured?
When a contractor is not properly insured and something goes wrong in your home, you could be held liable. Confirm your contractor is adequately insured to include general liability and workers compensation at a minimum. However, verifying insurance coverage can be a time-consuming process and requires more than a verbal confirmation.
Is Your Contractor Financially Stable?
You may be asking yourself, why is this important? If the contractor you hire goes out of business, your project might not be completed and any warranty agreement would most likely not be honored. It is imperative to run a credit check on the contractor to ensure they’re financially stable.
Is Your Contractor Trustworthy?
It takes a major leap of faith to have someone you don’t know in your home. When choosing your contractor, make sure they have a staff of experienced professionals that have undergone a criminal background check and are properly trained. Also make sure the contractor has an actual business location with the proper equipment for your project.
Does Your Contractor Stand Behind Their Work?
Be sure to discuss a warranty with your contractor. Ethical professionals stand behind their work with a workmanship warranty for at least a one-year period on most projects.
Does Your Contractor Provide an Itemized Quote?
When talking with your prospective contractor, make sure they provide an itemized quote outlining the full details of the work that will be completed for your project. Compare the quote you receive to industry standards.
Does Your Contractor Provide a Written Contract?
Make sure all aspects of the project are laid out in a formal contract. Before signing, carefully review every line of the contract and make sure you understand everything. If there is any confusing terminology or vagueness, have the contractor clarify your concerns. And most importantly, ensure the contract has the start date, warranty provision and terms and the total price of the project with a payment schedule if required.
Is Your Contractor a Good Communicator?
A home improvement project is a very detail-oriented process and you will have many questions along the way. Establish a clear and reliable point of contact for your project and if any issues arise, make sure you have a resource to act as your advocate.
Is This the Right Decision for You?
Once you have went through the proper steps to vet the contractor, take all of the information you’ve received into consideration and determine if the professional you’re considering is right for you. Even though the bid you’re considering might be lower than others you’ve received, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive quality workmanship. A low bid could be an indicator of an unqualified contractor or poor material quality.
After reviewing those 10 helpful and necessary hints to a successful home improvement project, you might find, like many other Americans, you just don’t have the time to go through all of those steps.
So now that you know all of the necessary steps of what it takes to hire a contractor, you can use tools like Contractor Connection who will put you in touch with the right contractor for your home project.
Have any other tips? Share them with the readers below!