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How to Choose a Contractor
Are you looking around your home at everything that needs to be done, knowing you canít do it all yourself any more? There is very little time for many homeowners to take charge over the repairs that need made to their homes. Often some repairs are out of our skill range with electricity, plumbing, and heating, but contractors are there to take over the workload.¬†
But the burning question here is just how are you going to find a contractor that is going to do a good job? How will you find a contractor that is not going to take all of your money and never complete the job? In this article, I am going to tell you more about how to choose a contractor that you can trust and use repeatedly.¬†
Make a listing of contractors that you are interested in hiring. Call these companies and ask if they perform the type of work that you are looking to have done. Ask for a reference listing to be sent to you before you get an estimate from their company.¬†
Ask about how large the company is. You might prefer to be working with a company that has many employees and areas of expertise, or you might like a smaller company where they focus on just a certain type of work to be completed.¬†
Find out from the contractor that is giving you the bid, how busy they are and when your job could be completed. Or if you donít know if you want to have the work completed yet, ask how long it would take from start to finish for your job to be completed. Great contractors tend to be busy and they will tell you how far behind their work schedule is.¬†
Sometimes a job canít be started for three months, other times, if you have inside work, they can fit your job in when it is raining outside. These are all things that you should be aware of when working with any type of contractor.¬†
If you are considering having a major project taken on by a contractor, talk to at least two contractors, but three or four would benefit you more. Talking to more than one contractor is going to give you better rounded advice and insight into what is really needed to get the project done right. What one contractor might have missed, another is going to point out and vice versa.¬†
Now that you have decided upon a price for your job, the contractor for the job and you understand when your job is going to start and end, you should consider getting a contract from the contractor so that nothing is going to be left to the imagination or to question.¬†
If your contractor is afraid or reluctant to offer you a contract, with a warrant of some type on the work that is going to be done, maybe you need to re think your choice of contractors. Every contractor should back their work even if it is just for six months. For example, if they are going to put in a new ceiling in your living room and the ceiling starts falling down after just two months, the contractor should come and repair it. After the six months, the contractor is no longer responsible.¬†
Donít allow your work to start, and donít give any type of deposit for work unless a contract has been signed. While most often you are not going to run into a problem, that one time that you donít have a contract that states who is responsible for what and when the work is to be completed and how it is going to be completed, that is the one time you could have a problem.¬†
Pay the contractor as the work is being completed. Donít pay ahead unless you feel very comfortable with the work that was done to date. If the contractor is asking for money because they have to make major purchases of materials, you will realize if the purchase is required depending on the amount of your job. This will have to be written in your contract about payments on certain dates so that if the work is not completed you can get a refund.
One last thing to think about when you are hiring a contractor and working with a contractor is that the warranty should be in writing. After six months or a year, memories tend to forget details. A written warranty protects you and the contractor.