Choosing Your Home Repair and Remodeling Contractor
Trying to find the right contractor to complete a home repair or home remodeling project at your home can be a stressful process. Performing a search online or looking in a phone book (yes, they still exist) might return a few dozen contractors in your area. The fun part is then combing through them to make sure you don’t become another contractor nightmare story.
Licensed and Insured
One of the first things you should do during your contractor search is to make sure they are licensed and have insurance coverage. Pennsylvania has a handy home improvement contractor search site where homeowners can look up contractors and see if they have a home improvement contractor license and if it is current.
The home improvement contractor search also includes a section where the contractor’s insurance information is stored. This section is updated by the contractor themselves, so it is best to request evidence of current coverage from the contractor instead of relying on this information. Contractors can easily e-mail you a copy of their coverage documents so if you sense hesitation when asking for them, it is probably best to avoid that contractor.
Performing the Work
Every city has some well qualified and experienced contractors that do tremendous work. Seeing that a contractor has many years of experience is usually a big plus to customers, and sometimes is the biggest deciding factor. That is why it is always important to ask the contractor who will be doing the work.
Some contractors hire subcontractors to take on some of their customer projects. This is usually done if a contractor has more work than they can handle or if the project is something that they don’t really specialize in. While there are subcontractors that do phenomenal work and are experts in their craft, they are not the contractor you technically hired. Be sure to avoid this surprise by asking the contractor up front if they will be on the job or if they will be using subcontractors.
Obtaining feedback from past customers of a contractor you are considering is also another key in deciding if the contractor is the perfect fit for you. Viewing a contractor’s website to see images of past projects they completed is fine but you shouldn’t give much merit to testimonials posted on the website. The contractor or their website development company control this content so there is a chance it could be fabricated.
Instead, you can check out a site such as Angie’s List. Angie’s List does a great job of looking over each review they receive to make sure it is legit and not a company representative trying to boost their profile rating. Plus, it only costs a few dollars a year for a membership which is well worth the peace of mind. Checking reviews on a contractor’s Facebook page is another way to get feedback if you don’t want to spend money.
Time to Hire
This article should be a good starting point in helping you to decide which home repair and home remodeling contractor to hire for your project. Do you have any other good tips or unfortunately a contractor nightmare story? Please share in the comments!