As a homeowner, you’ll likely find yourself in need of a contractor to complete a home upgrade at some point. When that time comes, you will want to find a reliable professional with the necessary skills to bring your project to fruition. Ask the right questions and you will increase the likelihood of a worthwhile investment in your home.
Renovations can be a significant expense and hard to reverse once completed, which is why it’s always best to do your research to bring in the right people to complete your project.
Remember these guidelines when choosing a contractor:
Ask for referrals and consult local resources. Start by asking friends and family. Other sources include local homebuilder and renovator associations and building supply stores.
Ask questions. What kind of work do you specialize in? Do you offer a warranty? How do you handle clean up? How do you schedule the work? Do you provide a contract? The answers to questions like these will help you narrow your search.
Consider more than just price. Pay attention to the level of trust and the quality of work you see from the contractors you have short-listed. Make your decision on a variety of predetermined factors, asking the same questions to all bidders. Be sure to get references and ask to see photos of the work the contractor has done for past clients.
Proper insurance. Both the homeowner and contractor need to have appropriate insurance. If the contractor’s crew is injured on the job or there are damages to your property or a neighbour’s property, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover you. Be sure your contractor has insurance to avoid liability on your part.
Get it in writing. The final agreement between you and your contractor should always be in writing. Do not be tempted to accept cash-only jobs. A cash deal may leave you with no legal recourse if something goes wrong.