There are some home renovation projects you can do yourself, but many require expert knowledge and experience. When you need help with a renovation, a reliable contractor is the person to call. However, not every contractor is experienced or reliable. It’s important to select the right contractor for your renovation project wisely. Here are some tips you can use to find a dependable contractor you need.
Know the Type of Contractor You Need
You may need to hire a general contractor who can oversee a large project with a lot of different parts, such as plumbing and electrical work. However, a smaller project may only require one specific type of specialist contractor.
There are several different specialist contractors from which to pick. Common types include the following:
- Metal workers
- Tile layers
- Flooring specialists
Verify Required Protective Paperwork
A professional contractor must have a license to work in a specific U.S. state. A licensed contractor is also typically bonded. That means he or she has an agreement allowing the state licensing board to file claims if construction contract violations by the contractor are suspected. Also, look for a contractor who can produce proof of proper liability insurance to guarantee coverage in case of construction accidents.
Determine if Your Contractor Will Actually Do the Work
Often, a contractor performs work alone. However, he or she may also work as the head of a team. In such cases, the contractor may take a passive or active role in performing the required tasks. If a team is doing the work under the supervision of the contractor, make sure that team has the necessary experience.
Interview Multiple Contractors Before Deciding
Conducting phone or in-person interviews is a great way to choose a contractor. Ask several candidates the same questions to see which ones give the answers you are looking for. The candidates you interview must provide some basic information, such as references and previous client lists. If they cannot or will not provide that information, you might want to look elsewhere.
Interview Former Clients
Do not take references at face value when you select a contractor. Call each one to ask questions about how their projects went and delve into the details of the work. For example, clients may love the finished products, but they may mention that the projects were not completed on time. That could indicate a need to select a different contractor or have flexibility regarding your desired schedule.
Use Reliable Resources to Shortlist Contractors
When searching for a contractor, using reliable resources is vital. There are several websites that specialize in connecting homeowners with tradespeople. Two of the most popular sites are Thumbtack and HomeAdvisor by Angi.
You can also use those and other websites to look up specific contractors. For example, you might have a recommendation from a neighbor. Using popular websites, you can see if that recommendation holds up by reading reviews about the recommended contractor.
Create a Detailed Contract
When you finally select a contractor, you can create a detailed contract. Make sure the scope of the project is fully described on paper. Also, include important details like proof of insurance information and projected start and end dates. The detailed contract can protect you if the contractor does not perform the job as well as you expected.