I love watching shows like Property Brothers, Love It or List It, or Rehab Addict on HGTV. I have always been fascinated with these shows because they focus on rehabbing old properties and making them new again. Otherwise, these properties would see the wrecking ball or the more modern Robotic Demolition Services and be torn down and replaced with something modern. While tearing down old buildings is necessary sometimes, seeing new life breathed into a place that still has potential is always heartwarming. I have always kinda wanted to try flipping a house of my own. However, I know that it takes a ton of physical labor, hiring the right contractor, and capital. Maybe one day I can fulfill my dream as long as I can find good contractors who would be willing to do all of the work so that I could just manage the projects.
If you are a homeowner at some point, you might need a contractor to replace the flooring in your home, paint, replace appliances, and other tasks that need maintenance as a home owner. So whether you have a small project or a large project, finding the right contractor, (such as Boutwell Built, a custom home builder in Ocala) is important if you don’t want to do the projects yourself. Do it yourself projects usually end up saving you money in the long run. However, if you don’t know what your doing it could end up costing you even more money because you end up having to find a contract to finish what you couldn’t handle.
Today, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to hire the right contractor for your next home renovation project.
Ask Friends or Family for Referrals
If you have family or friends who have owned their home for several years, chances are they will know of reputable builders or contractors. Especially if they have had their home built or had any major things go wrong in their home. They can tell you who they used. Word of mouth is still a powerful form of advertising.
Contact the Building Inspector in Your City
You can try calling the building inspector for the city that you live in. They will be able to give you a list of reputable people to contact. Depending on how busy your city is, you may not hear anything back from the building inspector so don’t be bummed if you don’t receive a call back.
Search Angie’s List
Angie’s list is a popular website that allows you to search for reputable company to help you build your home, take on remodeling project, or fixing things in your home. This site requires members to pay a nominal fee but there are some benefits to requiring a fee to use their database. Some of those benefits include: no anonymous reviews, companies make reports on their own company or a competitor’s company, they have a resolution team that will step in and help you resolve any issues that might arise during the project or afterwards, and companies are required to respond to their reports so that potential customers can get the real story instead of a one sided story.
Interview Several Different Contractors
Before making a final decision on a contractor, you should always get quotes from at least 3 different providers. This not only ensures that you are receiving fair quotes. A quote that is potentially too low or high might be a red flag, this isn’t always the case but you want to cover your bases. I highly suggest that you interview them in person but you can even do it on the phone. Just be careful if you are given quotes for a project without ever stepping foot in your home.
Pick the Best Contractor for the Job
You are spending several thousands dollars or more so you want the contractor you choose to be a perfect match before you ever decide letting them in your home for the duration of the project. If you don’t feel someone is the perfect match, don’t give up. Take your time and continue searching for the perfect match.
Search the Internet for Company or Contractor Reviews
It is important to search the Internet for reviews. You want to see what other people are saying about the person that you plan on hiring.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
Once you have narrowed down your contractor selections, you should go to the Better Business Bureau website or contact them via phone. This will give you a chance to scope out their reputation. If you can’t find the company listed in the BBB website, it is possible that they don’t exist so be weary of doing business with them. You don’t want a company or contractor to take advantage of your family.
Never Pay for Materials or in Full Until the Work is Completed
Never pay for the full renovations upfront. There are too many fly by the night contractors who magically appear especially after a storm. You don’t want to do business with someone who doesn’t have the capital to float the money for materials or labor until the work has been completed.
Be Aware of Potential Red Flags Before and After Hiring a Contractor
As you are searching for your contract, do pay attention to potential red flags. They include:
- Contractor is demanding you to pay for everything in cash only.
- They refuse to give you a physical address for their business.
- Don’t use a company that only has a P.O. box, they are very easy to obtain.
- Keeps odd company hours.
- Employees who use alcohol or drugs during business hours.
- Refuses to sign a contract.
- Lacks professional communication skills.
- Pressures excessively to sign a contract immediately. A reputable company or contractor will understand if you want to get several quotes.
- Can’t verify any of their credentials.
- Contractor is willing to give you a huge discount in exchange for using your home photos as advertisement.
- Can’t supply several references from previous customers.
- They can’t supply insurance documents and professional licences.
- Refuses to answer all of your questions thoroughly.
- They are impatient.
- Doesn’t address your needs or desires.
- Have a hard time getting a hold of the contractor or doesn’t return your call in a reasonable amount of time.
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