Finding the Right Home Improvement Contractor

As your home grows older certain changes and improvements are needed to increase its lifespan. Likewise, if you want to add some more rooms to your existing building layout, you need to make the necessary changes and improvements to your home. There are people who go for home improvements just to enhance the market value of their property. Some want to make their homes more energy efficient and cash in on the incentives provided by the federal and state governments. But who helps you in making all these changes and improvements to your home? Well, it is the home improvement contractor.

General contractors are professionals who have the necessary experience and exposure to making home improvements. These contractors help you in getting the work done according to your time schedule. So, it is extremely important that you identify and select a professional contractor who will not only provide you with a quote but will also tell you how to save on the costs. So, how do I find a good home improvement contractor?

Well, it is not so difficult in this age and time. There are various ways of finding a good home improvement contractor. One of the first things that you can do is to look into the local telephone directory. Look for people who are from your area and fix up a time with them and discuss your plans and ask for a quote.

You can find a lot of good home improvement contractors through the local newspapers also. For this, look into the classifieds. Many contractors display their ads in the local newspapers to attract new customers and generate business. Look up these contractors and discuss with them. You may find the right person to do the job.

Next, you can check up with your friends, relatives, colleagues and others and find out whether they can recommend their home improvement contractor. The good thing about this option is that it will save you a lot of time and money since the contractor is recommended by a person whom you trust and who has also experienced the contractor’s work.

You can also visit the internet and browse through various building and construction websites. You will come across some very good contractors. Likewise, there are many local area classified ads on the internet. As you browse through them, you will be able to find the right home improvement contractor for your home.

Home Improvement Contractor

Looking for a home improvement contractor wouldn’t be much different from looking and evaluating applicants to a job opening. You have some background checking to do and more.

The first thing that you should do in assessing if home improvement contractor ideal for your remodeling project is to check if the prospective contractor has the appropriate license, whether that individual is a licensed construction supervisor and/or a registered home improvement contractor. You also need to check if adequate workers compensation insurance and liability insurance cover the contractor.

References are also important. Have the contractor submit to you a written listing of the three previous recent home projects he/she completed, the homeowners and their contact details. Check with these homeowners and ask their opinion on the contractor’s performance.

Another vital reference source on a contractor would be your local better business bureau, the local building regulators and the Office of the Attorney General. These bodies will have records if a contractor is facing some consumer complaints or have been subjected to disciplinary actions before.

After you have found a one who meets these basic requirements, draw up or ask for a contract. Entrust the job to the contractor only after you have a written contract that you understand and agree with its terms. A consultation with your lawyer on the home improvement contract would be most ideal.

Some states also specifically require that it is the home improvement contractor who should apply for the building permit. So be sure to check with your contractor regarding the responsibility for construction permit application.

Hire the Right Home Improvement Contractor the First Time

This isn’t like shopping in a grocery store or purchasing things from your local mall. You usually only have one shot at this and if you’re wrong, it could cost you thousands of dollars. Let me see if I can help you find the right home improvement contractor the first time.

Try to avoid hiring large companies who use unskilled professionals. This is more common than you think in the home improvement and home repair business. These companies usually pay low wages to stay in business, because their overhead and advertising expenses are enormous.

I also don’t recommend using online construction referral companies, because their fees can be outrageous and eventually become financial burdens to contractors who use their services. You might not be charged a fee for using their services, but the contractors are. Don’t forget, nothing is free and when you sign up for their free services, without understanding how that company makes money, you could easily find yourself paying for these expenses, as the contractor passes them on to you.

Feel free to ask your friends for referrals, look through the Yellow Pages, newspapers and other local advertising to find a few home improvement contractors. Now for the hard part, have at least three of these contractors but preferably more, look at your home improvement project.

You’re going to be asking them questions about the project and if you’re not comfortable with their answers, they’re out. Find out how many years of experience the people have that will be working on your project and last but not least, if you’re not comfortable with the contractor don’t hire them.

If you notice, I didn’t say anything about the price of the home improvement project. I’m not talking about how to get the lowest price, I’m trying to show you how to find a good home improvements contractor. Most first rate home improvement contractors are not going to give you the lowest price.

If you’re truly looking for the lowest price, you’re probably not going to find the most qualified contractor. Keep this in mind, when making your decisions about which contractor to use for your project.