Whether you’re planning to add another room for a growing family or build a patio to increase the property’s resale value, projects of such nature and scale are best left to seasoned contractors who have both the experience and tools to put together the best results. But finding the right contractor is easier said than. In fact, it takes a substantial amount of time and effort to sort out prospects and filter the most qualified providers. Here are tips to speed up the process and lighten the burden for first-time homeowners.
Know the Types of Contractors
No single contractor is a master of all projects. Some are more experienced in indoor remodeling while others are experts in landscaping. General contractors are adept in managing varied facets of a project including workforce assembly and supervision of subcontractors while specialty contractors install specific structures like cabinets and bathroom fixtures. Depending on the project’s size and complexity, you may have to choose more than one contractor.
Avoid Unregulated and Non-Licensed Contractors
These de facto contractors do not have the education, training, and knowledge regarding standard practices encompassed by their line of work. As a result, their services may be subpar and even hazardous. A legitimate contractor will not solicit door-to-door and will only accept cash payments. They will also not ask for referrals or use leftover materials from a previous contract.
Check References When Looking for the Best Contractor
Quality references can help you decide if a certain contractor is the right choice. Ask important questions like their rate of satisfaction, timeliness of the project, and unexpected fees. If you get a positive review from a reference, consider visiting their home to see the completed project, of course asking their permission before doing so.
Know the Payment Methods Available
You should be given various payment methods by your contractor. In some cases, you can even ask your contractor to oversee financing for a large project. Avoid paying cash for small sized projects and instead opt for a check or credit card. Make sure you have a reasonable payment structure and interest rate.
Asses Their Inventory
A successful building project requires an upstanding contractor with the resources to work on different project sizes and types. For instance, if your project needs steel work, does your contractor have steel beams, nails and fasteners, hardware, masonry supplies, metal doors and frames, and other tools available at their disposal? Whether your contractor uses Smede-Son Steel & Building Supply or another steel manufacturer, make sure you vet the companies they rely on for their inventory as well.
Allot Adequate Time and Effort
Do not rush into it and, more importantly, don’t sign any contracts you haven’t read or understood completely. This will save you from a great deal of stress and unnecessary expenses later on. In advance, decide the most appropriate timeline for the project so that you don’t feel time-pressured when finding a contractor.