A contractor is often needed to handle more complicated home renovations. Not all contractors are educated or on the up and up when it comes to remodeling your home. Some have even been known to disappear after a partial payment has been made and little work has been done. The good news is you don’t have to fly by the seat of your pants. The following are five mistakes to avoid when choosing a contractor for home improvements.
Not Checking for a License
One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a contractor is to not hire a licensed contractor. Don’t just assume a contractor is licensed. Ask to see his license. You can also ask to see proof of education or ask where he received his training. Regardless, a license is a must.
Shaking On It
Never, ever use a hand shake in place of a real contract. When hiring a contractor, you need a legal document that states what is expected of each party. Another tip is to always read the contract thoroughly to make sure you’re not agreeing something you didn’t expect. You and the contractor should each have a copy of the contract kept on file.
Choosing an All-Around Handyman
Some contractors advertise themselves as a general contractor. This is like going to a family practitioner instead of going to a cardiologist for your heart problems. You want to find a contractor that specializes in the work you need done. Be wary of a contractor that claims he can do it all.
Failing to Interview Several Contractors
Don’t hire the first contractor that comes along. By interviewing several candidates you can find a great price as well as the most experienced and skilled contractor. Interview at least three contractors. The more you interview, the most options you’ll have.
Going With the Cheapest
Just because a contractor offers the lowest bid on your project doesn’t mean he’s the best. You should actually be leery of contractors that claim to be the least expensive. This usually means the contractor is going to use the cheapest materials and do the job as quickly and sloppily as possible. Opt for a contractor that offers a price somewhere in the middle. A contractor that offers an itemized list of expenses is even better.
You need to spend time choosing the perfect contractor for your home improvements. Taking your time will ensure that you find a contractor that is the most skilled for the job and offers the best price without skimping on materials.
About the Author: Reuben Godnick and his wife spent 2 months searching for the right contractor for their most recent home addition. They found a skilled contractor and were able to save enough for the bedroom furniture they really wanted to add to their new master suite. Visit here to see more options for furnishing your home after your own improvements!