Svetlana Sheinina


Posted by Svetlana Sheinina on 6/11/2019

When looking for a contractor online to work on a project for you, you might end up getting discouraged and afraid to hire one. There are too many stories about homeowners having terrible experiences of theft, delayed jobs, or poorly done work that required another repair.

These experiences happen everywhere but it doesnít make all contractors bad, there are still great and trustworthy contractors out there. But how can you determine if someone is a good contractor or a swindler out for your money? Below is a list of what you should do to ensure you do not only have the best guy for the job but also that you have someone who seems trustworthy. 

Do Your Research

There are various options available to get a contractor; you can use an internet search or contact local building association in your area to ask for recommendations. You can also contact your insurance company for help and take advantage of the goodwill the contracting company enjoys.

Ask For Referrals

Asking friends and family members for references for a contractor whose services they used reduces your chance of getting duped. Looking at jobs that a contractor completed in the past for relatives or friends gives you an idea on what to expect in terms of work from the contractor. 

Interview A Couple

If you have gotten a few choices, to determine the best man for the job, interview a few. During the interview process ask relevant questions, negotiate prices with each and be sure to read body language. 

Ask Questions

During the interview or after but before signing the contract, make sure you satisfy all issues that need answers. It makes it easier to accomplish when you have a list of questions drafted before the interview session. Ask questions like:

- What is their association membership?

- How long have they been in business?

- Ask for referrals of recent jobs

- How long would they need to execute your project?

- What would the payment style be?

All these questions and more should be on your list. Do not feel like you are asking too much because itís your money, and you need to be sure about getting value for the money spent.

Ask To See An Itemized Bid

Asking to see an itemized proposal from all the contractors you interviewed allows you compare prices, items required and to determine your best guy for the job. The bid also gives you a clear idea of how much would be needed to execute the project. The itemized proposal should include information on:

- Labor cost.

- Material cost.

- Work permit fee.

- And other miscellaneous expenses.

On seeing the bid, if the amount is more than what you budgeted for, you can easily adjust the scope of the plan to fit your budget.

Working with the steps detailed in this article would serve as a guide for you when next you need the service of a contractor.





Posted by Svetlana Sheinina on 11/14/2017

If you're in the process of trying to find a dependable contractor for a home improvement project, there are several steps you can take to ensure a positive outcome. Since clear and frequent communication is the foundation of any successful relationship with a contractor, knowing what questions to ask can make all the difference. Here are some general guidelines for screening potential contractors and determining which one would be the best match for your budget, your home improvement needs, and your personality. Not only is it important that the contractor be experienced, dependable, and conscientious, but it's also crucial that they're easy to work with and customer service oriented. If they're too abrasive or don't seem genuinely interested in ensuring your satisfaction, then you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere. Being competitively priced is also very important. Questions to Ask Contractors Although each situation is different when dealing with home builders, handymen, or home improvement contractors, here's a list of questions that would apply to most companies:

  1. "How long have you been in business?" One of your top priorities is to avoid fly-by-night operations that are in business today, and nowhere to be found, next week. Longevity in business is usually a sign that the contractor is conscientious about customer satisfaction, that they care about doing good quality work, and that they're in compliance with the legal requirements of running a contracting business. It's certainly not a guarantee of any of those things, but it's a good starting point in evaluating their qualifications.
  2. "Would you provide me with some recent customer references -- preferably ones who had the same type of work done as what I'm planning." If the contractor balks at this, then they may have something to hide -- like a trail of dissatisfied customers or a just a lack of customers. The ideal scenario, of course, is to get a contractor recommendation from a trusted family member, a friend, or a neighbor. When that isn't possible, a brief telephone conversation with a couple current or past customers of a contractor you're considering can provide a lot of insights into key factors like timeliness, professionalism, the quality of their work, whether they leave their work site clean, and their level of customer service and communication. By the way, one online source for neighbor recommendations is a social networking site called Nextdoor.com.
  3. "What type of insurance do you have?" If they're not current on their personal liability insurance, Workers' Compensation, and property damage insurance coverage, then you could potentially be liable for any injuries and damage that take place on your property during the project. However, reputable contracting companies recognize the importance of carrying the necessary types of contractor insurance, and they make it their business to keep those policies current and up to date. As a side note, it's also wise to find out if there will be any subcontractors working on the job, and if they also have the required licenses and insurance coverage. Asking for copies of insurance certificates is generally the only way to make sure the needed coverage is in place.
While many home improvement or construction projects come with their share of frustrations, setbacks, and minor headaches, if you take the time to screen and compare potential home contractors, your chances of getting the best value for your money and the highest possible quality will be greatly increased.







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