You may have seen the TV show “Catch a Contractor” where contractors leave a site unfinished or the work is done incorrectly or out of code. The worst of them all is when a contractor runs off with your money without doing any work at all. You can prevent this by doing your homework to ensure you are hiring a reputable home improvement contractor. Using our 7 tips hiring home improvement contractors will improve your overall experience!
Most people will ask family and friends (word of mouth) for referrals which in my opinion is the best way to make a decision on who to hire. You have to remember that not all jobs are the same and you should still do some additional homework.
7 Tips Hiring Home Improvement Contractors
- Word of mouth: This is the best consumer influence model because this comes from people you most trust.
- Reviews and Ratings: Search online for reviews and or ratings about the contractor. You should look for the contractors with the most reviews this will minimize any gaming of the review and rating system. Anyone can get a dozen reviews and or ratings from family and friends.
- State Licensing: Make sure the contractor has the proper state license to perform the specific work and that the license is current.
- General Liability Insurance: Ask the contractor what level of General Liability Insurance (GL) they carry and make sure they have proof of insurance. This is very important in case something goes terribly wrong like flooding, fire, etc. You want to make sure that the contractor’s General Liability coverage is enough to cover your home and any injuries.
- Get Estimates: Make sure you get at minimum 3 or more estimates to ensure you are not being over charged for the scope of work you want done.
- Pay half: Only pay half upfront and the rest when the job is completed to your satisfaction.
- Online: If you are looking to hire a contractor from an online web site make sure the site screens their contractors by performing thorough background checks and contractors are vetted for expertise. ServiceLive performs background checks for criminal, civil and vehicle records.
By following the 7 Tips on Hiring Home Improvement Contractors you will lower the risk of having a bad experience and the possibility of losing money for a job you paid to have completed to your satisfaction.