Home Renovation Advice: Important Things to Know for Choosing the Right Contractor

An extensive home improvement project requires the expertise of a trustworthy contractor. Unless you are an engineer or run your own contracting business, it is not wise to act as your own contractor. You will have to make sure that you have all the permits and insurance covered, for starters. If not and your house gets destroyed or a worker suffers an accident on the job, you get to spend for everything.

So if you want to remodel your kitchen, increase the living room space or add a second floor bathroom, hiring a contractor is always highly-recommended. But getting the services of one can be a real challenge. Not all contractors are qualified and some are not upfront about their limitations. As the homeowner who will be spending for everything, you should make sure that the contractor you hire is a true professional and that requires doing a bit of research on your end.

One of the first things to keep in mind in hiring a contractor is to make sure that he is licensed in your state and has workers’ compensation insurance. A contractor who is licensed to perform work in your area is your guarantee that he knows what he is doing. Having insurance is also your guarantee that should anything happen to your home or the workers while the reconstruction or remodeling job is going on, there is an insurance to take care of the financial and hospital expenses.

Get at least three quotes from different contractors. You’ll be surprised at how different the price ranges for a particular project will be from different contractors. You just have to make sure that you are asking them to make quotes for the same things you want done or you’ll be making the mistake of “comparing apples to oranges.”

Do not make price your only consideration. You might want to stay within your budget when you remodel your home but choosing the lowest bidder is not always wise. Make sure that you put in professionalism, quality of previous jobs and reputation in your criteria.

Ask around so are able to judge if a particular contractor is the one you are looking for. If the contractor has a clean record and is reputable, he will proudly ask you to call previous clients. Do that and ask them if they were satisfied with the job. Alternatively, you can also ask for contractor recommendations from friends, relatives and officemates. Advertisements are not good indicators of a contractor’s ability.

Review the written contract very well before you sign it. Everything about the project must be placed in the contract. The more detailed and precise it is, the smoother the work will progress since the contractor will know what is expected of him.

Finally, pay in stages so that the work gets completed without the contracting running out of dough before a part of the project is done. This protects you from the contractor running out on you before your home improvement project is completed.

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