Home » Home Improvement

How to Hire a Contractor

Jun 16, 2008
There are some home renovations that really should be left to a professional. Finding a good contractor that is trustworthy and dependable can sometimes be a challenge, but with some preparation it can be done.

Before accepting to work with a contractor, ask for a list of references. Ideally, the list will be fairly long, and not rigged towards a few happy customers. Call these references, skipping around from recent customers to older ones to see how the work has held up. If possible, visit one of the remodel sites in person. Ask about the quality of the work, and if the contractor stayed on budget and finished in a timely manner. Also, check how the contractor dealt with problems that arose, and if the reference would use him again.

A good contractor is one that the client feels comfortable speaking with. He should have clear solutions to your remodeling ideas. The contractor may be in your house for an extended period of time, and some problems will arise, so having good chemistry with this person is key to having a positive remodeling experience.

After getting a few different bids, do not base the job on lowest price alone. Read the details of the bid. It's possible that if the cost for materials is cheaper than other bids, it could be an inferior product that won't last. If one bid is significantly lower than the others, the contractor could desperate and his workmanship may be poor.

Make sure that the contractor is a professional. Verify he has workman's compensation insurance in case a worker is injured in the home, and general liability insurance for any damage that might accidentally happen to house. Major remodeling improvements legally require a building permit so inspectors will check over the contractor's work. Make sure the contractor applies for these permits. Certain industries allow contractors to get professional designations, such as Certified Remodeler and Graduate Certified Remodeler. Check if the contractor is part of any trade association, as they are more likely to be keeping up with current industry standards and practices.

Once a contractor is chosen, it's good to have a contract written up so there is no confusion during the actual remodel. The contract should have the starting and projected ending dates, as well as a payment schedule which details when payment is due, and how much each payment will be. Usually, certain amounts will be paid after particular milestones are completed in the project. Also, have the contractor put any warranties he offers into the contract. Outline which duties the contractor or the homeowner will perform, such as cleanup when the job is completed, in the contract to avoid butting heads when the time comes.

Though a contractor may be needed for large remodel jobs, a homeowner can save money along the way by doing some of the low level work, such as painting walls or ceilings. Some contractors will allow the homeowner to pick up materials, such as lumber, toilets, flooring, etc, which would have been added as a surcharge on the final bill.

After some research, well thought out questions, and open communication, landing the perfect contractor for those large remodeling jobs can be achieved.
About the Author
Ki operates as a real estate broker in Austin Texas. His site is filled with information about Austin real estate along with providing visitors information about mortgage interest rates along with a graphical search of the Austin MLS.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 117
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources