By Sam Wasson
Updated Oct 11, 2022
When it comes to home improvement projects and renovations, hiring the right contractor is one of the most crucial decisions you can make. Hiring a subpar contractor can set your project’s completion date or, in extreme cases, cause damage to your home. Hiring the right contractor can also be challenging as their reputations are not always clear, and online reviews can be deceiving. To help, we’ve compiled a list of our best tips on how to hire and thoroughly vet a contractor.
When searching for local contractors, you will soon discover there is no shortage of trained professionals for almost every possible job. Choice paralysis can be difficult to overcome but keep in mind that, in this situation, patience is a virtue. Browse until you compile a list of potential candidates for the job. Afterward, do a deep dive into each contractor, checking the following elements:
It can be helpful to see a contractor’s work firsthand. Getting a personal look at past jobs allows you to gauge workmanship quality and get an idea of your future job’s outcome. Many reputable general contractors will have online showcases displaying previous work.
For this tip, you will need to call the potential contractors you’re looking to hire. This initial call is essential and can reveal necessary information. When calling them, ask yourself:
While speaking to them, you can ask several questions to get an idea about the authenticity of their business:
Your in-person meeting with a contractor is essential, as it allows you to get a feel for their authenticity, professionalism, and conduct. Be sure to discuss the ins and outs of your project when meeting with the contractor. If the contractor is legitimate, they should be able to answer your questions effectively and give you a better understanding of your project’s time frame. During your meeting, the contractor should also be able to provide you with an itemized quote that will lay out the exact cost of your project. Be sure not to sign anything at this time, as you will want to compare quotes between your contractors and carefully read through their contracts before deciding.
Once you have met with the contractors and received quotes, you can now compare their prices and review their contracts. Shopping for quotes is common, and it allows you to get a good understanding of the actual cost of a project. Quotes vary from company to company, but they all should contain:
As for contracts, there are several different types of construction contracts, reflecting different payment ranges and models. Contracting companies and independent contractors may use one or multiple different kinds of contracts depending on the particular job. Regardless of the type of contract, they should include the following:
One final tip is to keep everything in writing. You cannot prove the validity of any verbal or otherwise non-written contract. Having a verifiable paper trail and written account of responsibility is essential for both sides in construction projects – any contractor who wants to begin work without a written agreement is shady at best. Thankfully, by following these tips and insights can help you find the right contractor for your next project or home renovation.
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