What To Look For When Hiring A Contractor


There are times when a qualified contractor should do home improvement jobs. Although learning to do basic tasks around the home will save you money, a licensed technician should do home repairs that are extensive or technical. This is especially true when the home improvement you are planning necessitates following state codes.

Here are some general guidelines for what to look for.

Go Local

There are many good reasons to search in your local area when you are looking for a contractor. For one thing, a local technician is most likely to be familiar with the homes in your area, as well as the types of problems they are likely to have. He will be aware of what materials work best for homes in your area, as well as the most popular homeowner products in your region. Since he is local, he will be familiar with the least expensive suppliers for those products.

Convenience is also a factor. When major jobs are being done on your home, you will no doubt want to contact the contractor to ask him questions or check on his progress. It’s helpful if he has a reachable customer service line and an office in your area.

Look For Licensing And Insurance

Handymen are very convenient for many jobs around the home that a homeowner doesn’t want or have the time to do. However, most handymen aren’t licensed for extensive contracting jobs. Any work that involves a renovation of your home, such as replacing piping or wiring, requires a professional who is properly licensed for the specific trade involved.

Any contractors you talk to should be able to show you proof of licensing and insurance.

Match The Contractor To The Level Of Difficulty

Contractors come in many shapes and sizes. Their range and amount of experience can differ. That is one reason why you should always obtain a few estimates before choosing a contractor for your home. The larger the job to be done, the more contractors you may want to talk to.

Although the bidding process is time-consuming, it’s for your own protection. When a contractor comes to your home to give you an estimate, you are able to ask him pointed questions, find out his pricing, get a reasonable first impression of his work ethics and character, and an exact idea of the type of work he thinks will be involved. Always ask for a detailed estimate of products to be used, pricing, expected amount of work time, and any warranties offered. There is usually a time limit on the estimate, so be sure to check on this.

It’s safest to choose a contractor in the middle range of pricing, neither too high nor too low in price.

Obtain References

Your neighbors may have had some experience with contractors in your area. You can also search on the Internet for customer reviews. Bear in mind, though, that each homeowner is different in the things he or she is looking for in a contractor.

Follow these guidelines and you’re well on your way to finding a quality contractor.