Choosing a Contractor for Home Improvement

When done with care and caution, home improvement and remodeling projects add value to your home. But if have ever been involved in such a project, I’m sure you would agree that it is indeed challenging. The most important part of the job is to find a contractor who can carry on with the job seamlessly and efficiently. Here are a few pointers to help you find the right contractor:

1) Ask for referrals: If you have engaged an architect to design and supervise the remodeling, he can help you assess the contractor’s qualifications and verify his claims about past performance. Architects work in tandem with contractors during home remodeling projects, and hence are a good source to ask for references. You can also ask for references from friends and family; preferably someone who has completed a home project within the last year. Their experience with the contractor can help you zero in on the right professional.

2) Credentials: Ensure that the contractor is registered and possesses the required licenses from various state and local bodies to undertake home remodeling. A licensed construction company ensures that his employees are covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act, thus protecting you from liability in case of a problem. Make sure to verify for contractor certification issued by the city’s contractor’s licensing authority/board, and the liability insurance certificate. Reputed contractors usually provide these details without asking.

3) Check references: The internet is a great source to help you find a contractor of your choice. People are honest about their experiences and provide candid feedback about the job. There are plenty of sites that provide information and reviews about contractors. Of course, word of mouth is still the best source, but if you are starved of time, this is ideal. Besides, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau to know if there are complaints filed against the general contractor.

4) Obtaining Written Estimates: Professional contractors provide a written estimate of the job, thereby allowing you to compare between the different quotes. And these quotes are always comprehensive to include the cost of raw materials, service charges and other miscellaneous charges. Make sure that you obtain a quote from at least 3 contractors.

5) Interviewing Prospective Contractors: Once you’ve made a list of prospective contractors after checking for their references, quotes and experiences, make sure to set up a meeting where you can discuss about the details of the project.