As someone who loves a good home improvement project, it can be difficult to realize when you need help. If you’ve never painted a room before or put up shiplap, the first time can not only be daunting, but it can also make a mess. Even if you’re someone who is handy and knows their way around a set of tools, DIYs can still be disastrous.
That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a contractor. A contractor goes by many different skills and job titles but overall, they’re going to be a licensed individual who knows how to do a particular task well. These can include but are not limited to, electricians, landscapers, garage door repairers, roofers, etc. If you want something done right the first time, it’s a good idea to invest in one of these contractors. You’ll probably save money and time by getting professional help.
Finding a good and reputable contractor can be tricky. Lucky for you, I have experience finding contractors near me. Here’s a look at everything you’ll need to find the perfect contractor.
Know what kind of job you need doing
It’s imperative that you have some sort of an idea of what kind of contractor you need to hire for a particular project. You don’t want to call your local plumber because your light switch won’t turn on or off.
Take some time and outline exactly what you want done around your home. Then do some research. Is there electrical work involved? Am I removing walls? Am I putting in a new washer or dryer? Can I do this myself?
The more information you have on your project the better. You might discover that a project, like an addition or a home remodel, actually requires multiple contractors. That’s alright! At least you know exactly what you want done so you can come up with a plan.
Start with a basic search
Using an exact geographical location will help you narrow down your search radius. Try searching for contractors in the city you live in and go from there. There will be dozens, if not more, options for you to choose from.
A word of caution though, try not to cast your search net too wide. If you live in Brooklyn New York and you search for Electricians in New York, you’ll have every contractor in the statepop up. Don’t overload your options.
Check for reviews
When you’re looking online to find your perfect contractor, more than likely they’ll have online reviews. Places like Yelp, Facebook, and even Google will have different companies rated with customer reviews.
When looking over company reviews, you should check to see how many people participated in the ratings. If only a few people participated, then that can be a clue as to how well the company is as a whole.
And make sure to check out the complaints section in your search. While every company has its fair share of difficult customers and complaints, be sure you’re not seeing trends. If different customers are raising the same complaints or concerns, then it’s a good idea to air the line of caution. Just be sure you take everything with a grain of salt.
Click here for more information on bad reviews and what to look out for.
Request estimates from competitors
A contractor should be able to give you a rough estimate on a project based on size and scale. They can do this either over the phone or they can come to your home and asset the work for themselves.
Never be afraid to ask for an estimated cost. It’s part of a contractor’s job to provide you with this information. Anyone who isn’t willing to give a rough estimate for a project is cause for concern. By asking around for different prices, you can come up with a contractor that will fit your budget.
That being said, an estimate is just that. An estimate. Don’t be surprised if the cost of a project changes suddenly. Unforeseen circumstances are known to happen in home improvement projects. Your contractor will contact you if something comes up that affects a project’s initial estimate. From there you can work out the price.
Get references and referrals
If you’re hiring someone to do an expensive job, you want to make sure you’ve hired a skilled individual. Ask for references from their recent projects. This will, you can see their skill set before they start working for you.
You can also ask your neighbor or friend for recommendations if they’ve recently done a project in their home. Hearing their experience working with the contractor will help you find someone you can trust to do a good job.
Don’t ignore Red Flags
No matter the circumstances, always, always, always, check for red flags. If a contractor won’t release their license to you, don’t use them. If they can’t provide you with references or can’t tell you about their relevant experience then call someone else. If a contractor who you have invited into your home acts suspicious or makes you uncomfortable, as them to leave.
There’s no shame in going with someone else because something feels off. Trust your gut. Scams do happen, especially in home improvement. If you don’t like how a contractor is acting in the interviewing stage then something is wrong and you should change contractors.
A contractor doesn’t have to be someone personable or bubbly, but they shouldn’t degrade you, avoid answering questions, or make you feel uncomfortable. A contractor who isn’t professional or eager to put your mind at ease will only cause you more trouble down the road.
The moral to the story: Do your homework
Finding a contractor you trust takes time and research. Don’t rush the process in favor of getting your project done sooner. I promise youthat rushing will only cause delays and more money. You want this done the right way, not the fastest.
For more tips on finding contractors, click the link below.
Home improvement is an exciting journey for home owners. Let’s just make sure to evaluate and find a contractor who can also work on our budget.