How to Find and Hire a Contractor

By Sherry Carlson

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Home renovations can be time-consuming, expensive and stressful! Finding the right contractor can ensure that your home renovation doesn’t take over your life and your wallet.  But how do you know the contractor is the “right” one for you?  Learn more about how to find, then hire the right contractor for your home renovation.

Finding Contractors

From Real Estate Club, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Angie’s list of ads in the local paper, there should be plenty of places to find contractors.  So, how do you pick the right one for your project?  Step one is to ask for personal recommendations.  If someone is willing to vouch for their contractor, that is something you should take into account.  If you aren’t able to get any personal recommendations, the internet is your next best bet.  Use YELP, Google+ and sites like Angie’s list to view reviews of contractors.  While it also a good idea to look at their websites, they only showcase their best work there, you need to know about ALL their past work.  

Once you’ve gathered a list of contractors, make sure to run a quick search with the Better Business Bureau.  Even with personal recommendations, you want to ensure that there is no pending litigation or major complaints filed.  Once you find your list of contractors, it’s time to start the hiring process.

Hiring the Right Contractor

Once you have a list of at least three contractors, it’s time to hire the right one! Before you interview each contractor make sure you can clearly communicate your expectations. Questions you should ask each contractor are:

·       What vetting process do you use for your employees or any subcontractors who will work on this project?

·       Will you be handling all the necessary permits?

·       Can you supply a detailed list of services and expected completion dates?

·       What deposit is required and what is the estimated cost?

Once you have these questions answered by all three of your contractors, compare them.  It shouldn’t always be about price.  If the lowest priced contractor has no vetting process for their employees, you probably won’t be happy with their quality of work.  Find a contractor that offers a balance of value and quality, this will help ensure that work is done to your specifications. 

Hiring a contractor is the first (and most important) step of any home renovation.  A good contractor should be your partner throughout your entire renovation.  They should ensure all work is done to code; finishes are in the best quality all while sticking to your budget.  Don’t forget to take into account what contractor you felt most comfortable with.  Not only are they going to be in your home every day, you need to be comfortable discussing tense subjects and financial matters with them. A good contractor can make or break a renovation, so take the time to find and hire the right one for your project. 


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