Owning a home is both a blessing and a curse. While it’s wonderful to have a property you can call ‘your own’, there is a whole lot of responsibility packed into it. It’s just like Murphy’s Law too, that right after you buy a house, everything goes wrong. The dishwasher stops working, the faucet is leaking, and the A/C goes out on the hottest day of the year. On those days it’s a good life to be a Renter. However, if you have the right person coming in to get a job done, the headache doesn’t have to get as bad as it could be. In addition to fixing things that go wrong, owning a home often involves updating and renovating. Regardless of what the reason may be, there are times when a home contractor is needed. And when those times come, you want to know what to look for!
So in case you’re wondering (because we assume you are on the edge of your seat at this point), here they are:
Price is incredibly important when looking for a home contractor, as spending your life savings on toilet repair or wallpaper removal isn’t exactly what you grow up dreaming about doing. You want to avoid the highest priced contractor as well as the lowest priced contractor. While getting the lowest possible bid for a job may seem good on the outside, there may be a reason they are the cheapos. While this isn’t always the case, the work usually reflects the price point. If you want a job well done, you are gonna have to spend a few bucks. Keep your eyes out for coupons and discounts, especially during off-season times.
This is probably the most important and yet most overlooked thing to consider when hiring a home contractor. Reviews are incredibly telling. After all, one of the best ways to promote a business is through word of mouth. People trust what other people have to say, their experiences, and their overall satisfaction with a job well (or not so well) done. If you skip every step except for one, let this be your one. Check Yelp, Angie’s List, and Social Media for any and all related reviews to a particular contractor or contracting company. To go the extra mile, get references from them and go see jobs they have done with your own two eyes.
- Someone who Conducts Phone Interviews:
It is important that your potential home contractor is open to a phone interview prior to starting a job. It is at this point you want to pick their brain. Ask them a variety of questions: do you take on jobs this size? do you have a compiled list of previous customers I can reach out to? how many projects do you work on at a given time? how long have you worked with your subcontractors? are you reliable and punctual? at what point do you require payment? The answers to these questions will be very revealing.
- Someone Who Puts Everything in Writing:
Before you give a contractor the green light, make sure they are willing (and follow through) with putting every single detail in writing. The last thing you want to deal with (in addition to your leaky faucet and broken A/C) are hidden fees or clauses you had no idea about. Read over everything until you fully understand it, ask all pertinent questions, and then sign it to make it official. This will be important if there are ever misunderstandings moving forward as you will have something to reference.