Smart Ideas: Options Revisited

How to Find a Quality Home Improvement Contractor

If you’re selling your house and have no time, tools, or experience to do a home repair or renovation project by yourself, you need to hire a professional. However, not just anybody 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 also true that there are many highly skilled, reliable, trustworthy contractors today.

Finding a Contractor

There are three key ways to locate a contractor for your planned home improvement or repair project:

Personal Referrals

Talk to your relatives, friends, and co-workers regarding worthwhile companies. It’s a good way to obtain personal testimonials from people you trust. Also, keep an eye out for projects in your neighborhood that seem to be doing well.

Books/Directories

You can look up a contractor in a local directory. Both yellow pages and white pages have basic listings, which indicate company names and phone numbers, and full-page advertisement, which include the company’s details and services.

Online Referrals

To obtain online referrerals, look for professional organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which has its own system for contractor certification. 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

Regardless of how you find prospects, make it a point to get a number of bids from various companies, and that you can compare them apples to apples. Understand the type of materials to be used, even if you need to ask a lot of questions. A who has no time to answer your questions must be removed from your list.

And now about money, do not ever choose a contractor solely because of price. The lowest bidder can sometimes be a good choice, but that old adage, “you get what you pay for,” sure applies to the home improvement industry. Contractors who do great work are skilled and experienced, have expert subs, and pay insurance. Of course, these are but examples of the many costs that come along with running a reputable contractor business.

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 issues, your budget’s size and what you intend to do with it. You could get into disagreements over some details, and you must be able to work through them. A contractor with poor communication skills or someone who just rubs you the wrong way is not the right one for you, even if he was perfect for your neighbor.