Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5 Tips for Finding a Contractor

Maybe you're adding a nursery to the second floor. Maybe you're knocking down a wall to expand a home office. Whatever you're rebuilding, redesigning or remodeling, you'll need a contractor to help you get the job done, so here are just a few tips for finding one that you can trust.

1. Check Their Credentials

Did you know that not all contractors are licensed? Some states don't require it. Make sure that you look into the background of any potential contractors on your list; if they don't have a license, they should at least have some kind of permit, training certificate or membership to a professional organization like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

2. Ask for Referrals

If your cousin just had her windows done, don't be afraid to ask her about her contractor. If you notice someone down the street going through a renovation, drop by and request a business card from one of the workers. It's much better to make decisions based off real-world actions rather than online promises.

3. Stay Local

Find contractors who already live and work in the area. Not only will their prices be lower than someone who has to commute a long distance, but they'll also understand your city's unique zoning laws, noise ordinances and weather patterns. They might even be able to tell you a thing or two.

4. Consult Your Budget

Every contractor will have a different way of charging you. For example, some contractors might bill you by the hour while others will bill you by the project; some will pay for their own materials while others will expect you to provide the funds; some will accept payment plans while others won't. It's important to clear the air about financial issues in advance.

5. Talk About Guarantees

What happens if a contractor breaks something in your home? What happens if a storm comes and damages their work? Who will assume liability if someone on the construction site gets hurt? Good contractors will have insurance forms, so whip out your pen and get ready to sign on the dotted line.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you search for contractors. It isn't always an easy task, but it's worth the effort to find a serious and hard-working professional who will care about your renovation as much as you do.

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