How to Find a Great Contractor in East Bend ?
A quick online search targeting East Bend is enough to scare you off from ever hiring a contractor. The Web is full of horror stories from families who hired a contractor who:
- Ran off with their money without ever performing the work
- Did the work so poorly they had to hire someone else to fix the job at double or triple the cost
- Took months or even years to complete a project, for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget
If your area has recently gone through a major storm, such as a hurricane, tornado, hail storm, or flood, you also need to watch out for “storm chasers.” These are contractors who swoop in from out of East Bend to fix homes damaged by a recent natural disaster. While some of these contractors are legitimate, many are just looking to make some quick cash and then hit the road before homeowners discover their shoddy work.
A Home Improvement Contractor Checklist
Finding a quality home improvement contractor is not always easy. Anybody can sell you on something that sounds great, but how can you know if you're really dealing with a quality company? Home improvement companies come in all varieties, from shysters to newbies to companies that have been in business for decades. These ten tips will help you pick out the best fit for you no matter what kind of company, from a replacement window contractor to a roofer, you may need.
1) Does the company offer free estimates?
Never go with a company that doesn't value a relationship with you enough to do a free estimate. When you pick a company you'll be spending quite a bit of money with them, so they should be willing to invest a bit of time in you.
2) Does the company offer an honest estimate? Is it detailed?
Many people don't know that there's a difference between an estimate and a bid. A bid is a legally binding statement, while an estimate is not. Some unscrupulous companies will pitch a too-low estimate to sell to you then and then hit you on the back end with "fees" they tacked on. If you get detailed, realistic prices and time frames, you increase the odds that it's an honest estimate. In addition, the detailed estimate gives you legal recourse if the company does work you didn't authorize.
3) What kind of customer guarantee does the home improvement company give?
How long do you have to report problems? What kind of certification can a given home improvement contractor give you on his or her workers? What kind and quality of materials do they use? You should be asking these questions in the initial meeting and get it in writing on any contract. If the answers are vague or deceptive, run.
4) How willing is the company to work with your schedule?
Of course, you don't necessarily want people in your home you don't know. However, some home improvement jobs can take several days or even a couple of weeks? If the job is only on the outside, say you're getting a roof replaced, you don't necessarily have to be there. However, if entering your home is required, are they willing to work with your schedule?
5) Is the contractor insured, and what protection do you get out of it? Do you have any liability?
Let's say you're having your roof fixed and a worker falls off into your bushes, breaking his or her arm. Who's responsible for taking that worker to the hospital, who's responsible for paying the bill, and who ultimately is liable for what? Any decent company is insured and does not hold you liable for accidents common in the line of work. Get all liability spelled out in the contract.
6) Is the contractor truly knowledgeable in the area you want improved?
If you're wanting energy-efficient windows replaced then a "general contractor" who's done roofing for fifteen years probably is not the right contractor for you. Make sure the home improvement contractor you pick has plenty of in-depth detailed experience with the specific improvements you're having done.
7) Does the company belong to the local Better Business Bureau?
BBB seals don't always mean a lot on the Internet, but they still pull their weight locally. If, for instance, you live in Cincinnati, Ohio and you want to know a contractor's worth, the contractor that's part of the local Better Business Bureau has been around for years and has a reputation to maintain, while one who isn't may be a fly-by-night company.
8) Does the company offer financing? If so, is it legitimate?
Some companies are large enough to be able to offer their own financing. Others don't want to deal with the headache of an entire finance department. If contractor-provided financing is important to you, be clear on that when first talking to contractors. If one offers you financing, check it out thoroughly. Are they doing it in house? Do they have an arrangement with a bank? Do they charge a reasonable interest rate or too high? When do payments start? Any financing is, at heart, the extension of a line of credit. If the company isn't doing the same checks as a credit card company, look twice.
9) Does the contractor have offices you can visit?
Some contractors are one-person specialist affairs and may even work out of a home office, while others are larger companies with their own offices. No matter what kind or size of contractor you're dealing with, you should be able to visit an office. You're not going to get home improvement from a company across the country, you're going to get it locally. Therefore, their physical offices should be accessible and professional. If you can't visit their office the company could easily be a fly-by-night operation to take your deposit and disappear.
10) Can you get references you can look up and call on your own? Would any references be willing to have you visit to see examples of the home improvement company's work?
This one should be a no-brainer, but all too often it's a detail that gets overlooked in the furor of home improvement contracting. Can you see examples of their work? Can to talk to people they've done work for in the past? Just one reference doesn't cut it, nor do three who you can't find in the phone book. Anyone can pretend to be three different people, and it's easy to get call forwarding for three different numbers.
The Most Important Home Improvement Projects
Deciding on home improvements is a big decision. It can be a scary process knowing that someone is going to dismantle your house with the promise of making it look better. Finding and trusting a contractor isn't easy. You've probably heard the warnings or horror stories from neighbors or friends of construction projects gone wrong. However, that doesn't mean the myths are all true. There are plenty of misconceptions that many homeowners hold about contractors and this article is designed to weed out the truth. Here are some of the 5 most common misconceptions:
1. You'll Save Money Doing It Yourself
Sure, it seems like you'll save much more by taking on the project by yourself, but that usually isn't the case for several reasons. One of them may be because you don't have all the necessary tools for the job, and as everyone knows, tools can be expensive. By the time you've bought all the power tools you need, you would probably end up paying more than the price of a contractor's service. There is also the possibility of making a mistake. Even the smallest mistake could end up putting the whole project in jeopardy. It's better to have an experienced contract do it right the first time.
2. The Higher the Price the More Reliable
The price tag shouldn't be your focus when searching for a dependable contractor. In fact, the reason contractors often charge a higher price is because there aren't many other companies close-by to do the project for a lower cost. It's the simple rule of supply and demand. Instead, you should choose a contractor based on legitimate reviews by real customers. That's the best way to judge the services of any contractor. And if possible, find some pictures of the contractor's previous work so you can review them for yourself!
3. Hiring One Contractor is Risky
These days there are specialists for everything. It may seem like a good idea to hire a different contractor for every different project you may have, but trust me, it's not. It's actually better to just hire one contractor for the whole house or multiple projects if necessary. Hiring more than one can cause a headache for all parties involved, take more time and cost more money in the end.
4. Contractors Can Sue Me if They Get Injured
Any construction site can be dangerous and they usually are. Any professional contractor will know this and hopefully be ready for any accidents that may come up. This means they should have insurance. Never hire a contractor that isn't insured. Hiring uninsured contractors is like inviting a stranger over after an ice storm; If they get hurt, it will be your fault. Therefore, always check with the company about insurance and make sure you will not be liable for any injuries they might sustain on your property.
5. I Should Plan Before Hiring a Contractor
Although it would make the contractor's job a little easier, it's not necessary to have everything planned out before scheduling the work to be done. In some cases, it's even better not to have it all planned. Usually the contractor will help you with your plans and alert you to any problems or give helpful suggestions on what should be done. If they are very experienced, they will know what won't work, what will look weird, or what the best option for a particular space is. As long as they are a trustworthy company, you should always let them just as much of the planning process as they are the construction process.
Hopefully these 5 tips have cleared up any misconceptions that might be out there about home improvement work and hiring a contractor. While it isn't a guarantee, these tips should help you find a quality and reputable contractor like IPC Restoration and Renovation so you don't end up telling the same horror story you heard from that neighbor or friend about their home remodel!
A Home Improvement Contractor Checklist
Still, there are plenty of honest and trustworthy contractors out there. How do you find one in East Bend? It takes time, work, and patience, but your efforts will pay off.
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