Almost every one knows at least one or two horror stories about remodeling projects gone awry or renovations that ultimately left homeowners less than satisfied. Hiring the right contractor has a lot to do with how happy homeowners are – not just at the end of the job but during the entire process. So, how do you find a contractor you can trust?
The first step toward hiring the right person is to ask around for referrals. Start with neighbors, family, and friends who have recently completed projects. Ask how they feel about the process and the relationship with their contractor. It’s important to keep in mind that most projects involve some curveballs; changes to the original timeline and/or budget due to unforeseen issues are almost always present. Talk to people to see how they feel about the results, but keep the focus on the contractor and process. Ask questions like:
- Was the work crew consistent and reliable?
- Did the job site stay neat and orderly?
- Did the contractor meet expectations for communicating?
- How were problems identified and addressed?
Another method for finding a contractor is to check out search results online. After all, most of us start our searches online for just about everything. Look for reviews and opinions on websites or places like Angie’s List, yelp. etc. Do consider that further verification is needed though as some reviews could potentially be fake or misleading.
From the Pros
Another possible avenue to find a contractor is to ask local businesses who they work with or refer out themselves. Paint stores, local hardware stores, and others in the construction or home improvement industry can be invaluable for information and references. If you frequent any of these businesses, strike up a conversation with the owner or manager to get the inside scoop on local contractors.
However you go about finding a contractor, you will still want to interview them too. In fact, try to have plans or ideas for your project in place, then meet with a couple of potential contractors to interview, discuss the job, and get a bid before signing any contracts.