Homebillsavings-header

 

Home Improvement Contractors

 

Graeme Foster 4-04-2012

 

Though you may be tempted to choose the first home improvement contractor that seems competent or likeable, your home improvement project will have a much better chance for success if you take the time to do your research first.

 There are several things to take into consideration before hiring someone who will be spending a good deal of time inside your home.

 

Read on for a few suggestions on what to consider :-

 

  • Specialist - First and most important, you will want to find a contractor who specializes in the particular job that you are intending to complete.

    • Many Home improvement contractors are capable of doing multiple trades, but you mostly find that their expertise lies in one trade.

    • Compile a list of relevant contractors.

    • Always plan ahead

    • Ask about previous jobs they have performed to ensure that they have actual experience doing similar projects to the one that you will be employing them for.

    • Get some help - Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations if necessary.

 

  • Research - After narrowing your search down to a few qualified contractors, research their reputation.

    • Check if there are any consumer complaints with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, Which,Trading Standards.

    • Remember that some house holders will file unjust complaints, so follow the documentation and see if the problems were later resolved after the initial complaints.

    • Ask the contractor to give you some Basic Guidelines to the methods that they would use to complete your project.

    • In addition, simply ask your preferred contractor about any problems on file that you become aware of. There are often reasonable explanations of what may have taken place.

    • Ask contractors for any Home Improvement Money Saving Tips they may be aware of.

 

  • Certification - You will want to hire a contractor who carries insurance.

    • Public liability insurance for cover for accidental damage whilst on your property.

    • Some policies do not cover for damage to the property being worked on.

    • Employers liability insurance on any worker that they hire who will be on your property. You do not want to get the surprise of being sued for a worker who is injured while performing the job.

    • Also, ask if the contractor is bonded. Not all will be, due to the expense of getting bonded, but decide if the lower quote offered by an un-bonded contractor is worth the potential risk.

 

  • Quotes - Get specific quotes for your job in writing, not just an estimate.

    • Make sure that the contract covers everything needed from start to finish.

    • Check there is an allowance for budget overruns.

    • It needs to be clear who will be responsible if the project goes over budget.

    • How the project will be completed if you do not agree on rising costs.

    • Put a time commitment in writing for how long it will take for completion.

    • What the penalties will be for non-completion of project by time promised.

    • This can include discounts for each day that the project is delayed.

 

  • Competitiveness - Compare the quotes that you get with the other contractors who have tendered for the project.

    • If another quote comes in considerably less, do not hesitate to ask your chosen contractor for a price reduction.

    • If a price reduction is not available then ask for upgraded materials or extra touches.

    • Ask if they have a scheme that rewards referals.

 

Investing the time to take these steps beforehand can significantly reduce the risk of problems with your home improvement contractors. The entire experience can be enjoyable and satisfying for everyone involved, so do your homework and then reap the benefits for years to come.

 

Return to Home Improvement