One of the greatest ways to find a contractor is by referral. Asking friends and neighbors who helped them with their houses is a good way to find someone you can trust. Make sure you ask what specifically the contractors did for them, whether they worked within their agreed upon timeframe and if they would use them again. Just because they’ve used them once doesn’t mean they’d use them again, and you should never assume. Also ask how the contractor handled any problems that came up and what the contractor’s team is like.
Once you have a name or two in mind, take the time to check out their credentials. The first thing you can do is visit their website, but there is more to it than that. It only takes a phone call to make sure they have the proper licensing for both local and state requirements. You can also verify any professional group associations listed on their website.
Take the time to check references. Ask if there are completed projects you can visit, and then do so. You can also request phone numbers from past clients so you can call and ask how the project went. Ask former clients if the home improvement contractor was on time and on budget and if they were pleased with the results. Just having glowing credentials is not enough. A good contractor should also have solid references.
Interview your final few choices. Ask plenty of questions, and write down the answers. Don’t just assume you’ll be able to keep it all straight in your head. Try to keep it to two or three contractors to keep things as simple as possible. Keep in mind that the contractors themselves should also be asking questions about the potential job at hand.
Make sure the contractor you choose has liability insurance and is fully insured. And once you choose someone, get everything in writing. The bid, payment plan, job specifics, and a list of tasks in the order they should be completed are all important details to include. Don’t forget to include dispute resolution and a waiver of lien. The waiver of lien stops subcontractors and suppliers from putting any sort of lien on your house if the contractor fails to pay their bills. If everything looks good and you believe you have found the ideal contractor for your home improvement project, go ahead and get started. With a signed contract and detailed written plan in hand, your remodel should be well underway in no time.