More time spent at home and the popularity of home improvement TV shows has increased the number of home projects. Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of knocking down walls and retiling their kitchen on their own. If you’re one of these non-DIY-ers, you will need to find service professionals to help, but choosing the right person for the job is critical and good help is hard to come by these days... Here are a few simple tips to help ensure you hire the best person for your project.
• Ask Around - Preferably ask people you trust to take advise from, including reputable real estate professionals, as many keep a short list of reliable contractors their clients have had good experiences with. Somebody always knows somebody and word of mouth is still so very important. Of course, Social Media can also be utilized, people ask for suggestions in local FB groups, etc. all the time.
• Check References and Reviews – One of the easiest ways to verify the experience and professionalism of a contractor is to read online reviews. If someone has been in the business for a few years or longer, you should expect to find plenty of reviews to read on Yelp, Angie’s List and other sites. Asking for local references is also important. Call references and, if possible, go see completed projects in person.
• Confirm Licenses and Permits – Verify the contractor is licensed by the appropriate agency and that the license is in good standing. It’s also important to have any required permits for the project by your local city or county. Unpermitted work can result in loss of value, fines and even forced removal of the work.
• Proof of Insurance – All contractors need insurance and most are bonded. Ask to see the proof of insurance before allowing anyone to work in your home.
• Get it in Writing – Get a written estimate with the scope of work and question any confusing terms. This should include clear expectations, deadlines and pricing. Make sure you understand everything before signing any type of contract.
Hiring the right person for your home improvement or maintenance job can be time-consuming, but is well worth the effort. Do your homework upfront and you can avoid costly mistakes.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to us!