8 Pro Tips for How to Hire a Contractor
Hiring a contractor to complete work on your home is not as simple as performing a Google search and selecting the first name off the list. You want to be sure that you’re hiring a well-rated professional who will do quality work for a worthwhile price. To select the best person or business for the job, take a look at some pro tips for hiring a contractor to get started.
An easy way to find a worthwhile contractor to make changes to your home is to ask around. Get recommendations from friends and family who have hired a contractor in the past. They may have some great options of contractors who did amazing work on their property or warnings of who not to work with when the time comes due to their poor experience with the person or company.
These recommendations don’t just have to come from people you know. Visit a local hardware store and ask for recommendations from them. See if they have someone in mind who they regularly see in early purchasing supplies or who they’ve connected with at their business. It could be a huge help.
Make Plans and Get Bids
You must plan things carefully before finding the right person for the job. If you’re unsure of what exactly it is you’re after, it won’t be easy to settle on a contractor you know you can trust to do the work right. It would help if you had a solid plan in mind for the work required and then get bids from different contractors with that information detailed to them.
It’s also wise to do interviews to ensure you choose the right contractor. This is your chance to ask them the important questions on your mind, such as:
- How long they’ve been in business
- Whether they are licensed or insured
- What their timeline is for completing the project
- If they have relevant references or testimonials from former clients
- If they work to get the appropriate permits
You want to ensure you cover every possible topic and that the contractor in question has everything it takes to handle the job correctly. Even if they seem qualified online, an interview will help weed out the imposters from the true professionals with the knowledge, skills, and licensing to complete your renovations.
Don’t Always Go for the Lowball Offer
Too many people opt for the lowest bid to avoid high costs when figuring out how to hire a contractor. However, this isn’t always the smartest decision. Sometimes, the lowest bidder is the one with the least experience or who will cut corners to get the work completed for less. You don’t have to select the highest bid, either, but your choice should at least fall somewhere in the middle if you want a reasonable price AND quality work.
Check Their References
Don’t just take the person’s word for it when they offer references. Actually check up on them and see if they have done good work. This is when an online search can come in handy. Don’t rely on one website alone, either.
Look at the testimonials on their website and compare them to their Facebook reviews. Check Google and see how many stars and what types of comments they’ve received. Look at sites like Angi and Yelp to determine if there are more positive notes about them than negative. Seeing that the contractor has other customers that vouch for them can determine whether you want to hire them.
Pay Attention to Their Communication Skills
Of course, some contractors may be in the midst of another project and won’t be able to get back to you immediately. However, they should be responding as soon as possible and not leaving your messages unanswered for days at a time.
You must pay attention to the communication skills of the contractors you’re vetting to see which ones offer fast responses and seem to care about communicating. These are the people who will maintain communication throughout your project and answer your questions promptly. You don’t want to hire someone only to end up with them never answering your messages.
Discuss a Payment Timeline
If the contractor wants 50% or more of the payment immediately upfront, it may be a red flag that they have money issues. Most will only ask for a small percentage at booking and the rest in intervals. It’s wise to discuss their payment expectations ahead of time so that you both know you’re on the same page about the project.
Draw Up a Contract
It’s wise to draw up a contract that details all of your expectations. You should be sure to include the payment schedule, including the fact that the final payment will not be issued until all work is complete. Also, note the projected start and end date they confirmed with you and which materials and tools they need to purchase for the project. With all of these details included and both your and the contractor’s signatures on the document, you will have some protection should things go south.
Offercity Takes The Guesswork Out of Selling Your Home
Once you feel confident that you have the right contractor for the job, you can hire them and await the work to be completed. In the meantime, reach out to Offercity should you have additional questions regarding home renovations or the home buying or selling process. We’re happy to assist you with how to hire a contractor and more.