Finding the Right Contractor for Your Project
Always keep in mind when you are trying to find a contractor for your home improvement project, it takes more than just opening the telephone book and choosing one that has a nice advertisement. You want to be sure to find home improvement contractors that are professional, experienced, have the proper license and insurance. Finding a contractor with competitive pricing is also essential; you don’t want to choose the one that provides the lowest quote.
Questions to Ask Your Contractor
When you are trying to find a licensed contractor for a major project, there are things you want to know about the contractor before you think of hiring that individual or company. While some things are of greater importance, others are essential because they define whether that contractor has a good reputation within the community and among its peers and competitors.
- You want to choose a company that has a permanent office location. This shows the contractor has stability and thus provides more of a guarantee that he will complete the work and actually stand behind what he does.
- The contractor should provide you with proof of general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. The last thing you want is for someone to have an accident and expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover it because happened on your property.
- You should choose a company that has been in business for awhile instead of one of those who claim to have achieved overnight success. The length of time a contractor has been in business shows something about his experience and the integrity of his business.
- The most important thing you can do for yourself is to get everything in writing. You and the contractor should sit down together and determine what is inclusive in the price he is quoting. You want a detailed listing of everything including materials that are part of the bid price. Even your initial proposal should be detailed so you know exactly what the contractor is willing to do for the price. Even things you agree upon verbally should be in written form, signed and documented.
- Whether you are looking to find a general contractor or a more specialized contractor, it’s important to conduct research first. Learning how to find a contractor is an essential part of performing any home improvements.
Types of Contractors
There are three basic types of contractors: General Engineering contractor, General Building Contractor and Specialty Contractor. Each of these contractors has a field in which it excels. For instance, the General Engineering Contractor has specialized knowledge and skill in various areas of engineering and will handle projects that include land leveling, excavating, ranching, sewers and paving.
- The General Building Contractor as the name implies works mostly on building structures, and their projects usually include houses and room additions.
- Specialty contractors fit into various categories that might include electrical work, drywall, landscaping, flooring or roofing.
- If the work you need performed involves several areas, you will probably be better off hiring a general contractor. The general contractor will then sub-contract any jobs that require the skills of a specialty contractor.
Advantages of Online Service for Finding Contractors
The Internet has opened many opportunities in all areas, and that includes the ability of homeowners to research contractors. Having access to online services provides homeowners will several advantages.
- Homeowners have the opportunity to receive several bids which then allows them to choose the best price from among those bids.
- There is no need for the homeowner to post requirements or answer questions numerous times.
- The Internet also provides various other resources for homeowners such as information about financing.
Being Contract Specifics
Although contract requirements may not be the same in all states, there is one fact that is uniform no matter where you live: verbal agreements mean nothing in the event of a dispute. This is why it is so essential to never hire a contractor without having a contract that includes specific details about the project including the cost of labor, materials, turnaround time, and what is covered in the original bid proposal. Do not leave any page unturned but rather review the contract to make sure everything is included and that both contractor and homeowner understand what is expected.