Deciding to make improvements to your home can be an exciting time in your life. Your home helps establish your identity. It is your sanctuary and where you experience many of your most memorable moments. Therefore, choosing the perfect independent contractor to facilitate your home remodeling project is of paramount importance. In fact, there are several factors to think about when choosing the company to assist you in transforming your home.
Not spending an adequate amount of time and energy conducting research about the potential contractors for your home remodeling project can, unfortunately, lead to disastrous results.
Do Your Research
Independent contractors are extremely appealing to the typical homeowner. They offer personal service, dedication, and a commitment to providing precisely what the owner wishes. Therefore, it is imperative to thoroughly research contractors with whom you are establishing a business relationship with before hiring and starting the improvement project. After all, you are likely going to spend thousands of dollars on a project to improve your home, and you want to hire the perfect independent contractor for the job. When picking your independent contractor, one would be wise to do the following:
- Ask friends and family members for recommendations of companies they have worked with in the past. Also, check with the National Association of Remodeling Industry for local members in your area.
- Obtain three or more written estimates from different contractors after each has personally come out to evaluate your home and the work necessary for the renovation. Also, multiple written estimates will allow you to compare contractors based on the same work.
- Make sure contractors meet licensing and registration requirements, possess appropriate permits, and have passed inspection requirements. Be extremely cautious of a contractor that asks you to obtain the necessary permits. This could mean the company is not licensed to perform the work they promise.
- Insist on written contracts that clearly state costs, dates, and company personnel. A homeowner wants documentation that clearly outlines not only the work, but the timeline and budget as well.
It is also a good idea to check for complaints filed against each possible contractor with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A past complaint from a homeowner will possibly rule-out any contractors that are not in good standing.
Potential Red Flags to Avoid
While most independent contractors are reputable and legitimate, there are, unfortunately, some who are unreliable and looking to scam potential homeowners out of their hard-earned money. Independent contractors who exhibit distrustful characteristics should be a red flag to owners who are looking to improve their home. For example, a homeowner should be cautious when a contractor:
- approaches you or goes door to door looking for work
- offers to utilize materials from previous jobs
- provides a customer a discount for finding other customers
- pressures a client to make an immediate decision
- is difficult to reach via phone, email, or in person
- asks a homeowner to pay for the full job upfront
Insurance is a Must
The legwork is critical to find the best company for your renovation. It will, undoubtedly, lead to worthwhile results and a happy customer. Finally, one of the most important items to ask about and possibly investigate when choosing the company is contractor credentials. Your independent contractor must be able to provide you with up to date contractor insurance information. This prevents the homeowner from unforeseen accidents that occur while the job is being completed.
Without the proper insurance, a company may not be covered for personal liability, property damage, and workers’ compensation, leaving the homeowner in a precarious situation. It is also a good idea for a homeowner to check with their insurance company for clarification on what is covered under their policy.