How to choose a Good Home Improvement contractor?
So you’re ready to put in a new bathtub, or you finally picked out that new tile for your kitchen or want to get the Plumbing done for your Home. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, or you don’t have the time or skills to tackle a DIY home improvement project, hiring a contractor is the way to go. But choosing a home improvement contractor can be a headache: How can you tell if someone is good at a job you don’t know how to do?
When you choose a contractor, you’re hiring a new employee for a job. You wouldn’t hire the first applicant for a job at your business, so don’t choose your home improvement contractor without narrowing down the best candidates. Examine portfolios of previous work, check licensing, listen to referrals and gather competitive bids before you make a final decision.
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The first step in finding the right home improvement contractor is to create a list of 10–15 local contractors who have the right expertise. You’ll gradually narrow down this list to the top contenders and ultimately use it to select your contractor, so it’s best to include more names than you’ll need at this point.
There are several ways you can compile your starter list:
- Ask your homeowner friends for recommendations, especially those who have recently had renovations.
- Search online for the type of service you need in your area.
- Check out online reviews.
- Use social media to ask friends or followers for local recommendations.
Choose a contractor who specializes in the type of remodel you need; someone who specializes in remodeling kitchens might not be ideal for your bathroom renovation. A home improvement contractor with a creative eye can also be helpful for certain projects. For instance, if you want to lay a tile entryway with a detailed mosaic or paint a room with a faux finish, you’ll need a contractor who does that type of work well.
Ask each contractor on your long list for a portfolio of their projects from at least the last year. They may have a physical portfolio, or they may direct you to a website with images. A good portfolio should contain at least ten projects. It should include photos of each space before work began, during the remodel and after project completion. It helps if there are pictures of blueprints, sketches or other plans so you can get an idea of how the contractor approaches a project.
It’s up to you to do your homework to find a skilled and ethical contractor for your home improvement project. Research each contractor thoroughly, and feel free to take your time to make the best decision for your home. After you’ve reviewed and signed the contract proposal you’ll write a deposit check. Now you’re one step closer to your dream home.