guide to choosing a contractor
Choosing a contractor for your renovation project is a big decision. To help you with it, we've compiled this list of things to ask and consider.
Questions to Ask the Contractor
- How long have you been a contractor?
- Were you formally trained or how did you acquire your experience?
- Do you belong to any professional associations?
- Are you licensed and registered?
- Are you insured? Bonded?
- Do you have any references I may contact?
- Do you give written warranties?
- Have you completed a job like this before?
- Will this project require a permit? If yes, who is responsible for obtaining it?
- Can you estimate how long this will take?
- Will you provide options for different materials?
- Have you ever had a complaint lodged with the Better Business Bureau?
- What happens if I want something changed midway through the project?
- Do you provide me with a clear, wriiten contract spelling out all aspects of the project?
- What are the payment terms?
The Lowest Bid is Often Not the Best Bet
When you are buying a car, it makes good sense to get three bids and then go with the lowest one – after all, you can test-drive a car. What could go wrong? A low bid from a contractor is tempting, but it can be a reflection of many things: cheap materials, poor craftsmanship, inadequate safety precautions, lack of insurance or licensing, or straightforward contractor incompetence and inexperience. Far more important than a low bid are the reputation, experience, and track record of the professionals you choose to do the job.
Questions to Ask References
As a wise and prudent consumer, you should always check out a company's references and reputation. It may seem unnecessary extra effort, but it will pay off. You'll avoid the expensive headache that comes with hiring a low-bid contractor who does inadequate work. Remember a wise old saying, "Quality is never the cheapest." It's a truth well worth thinking about.
- Were you happy with your renovation?
- Was the renovation completed on time?
- Were there any unexpected expenses?
- Would you use this contractor again?
- Would you recommend this contractor?
- Did you have any warranty issues and were they dealt with to your satisfaction?
- Did the contractor clean up after the job was done?
- Did workers show up on time and regularly?
Your home is a personal reflection of you, your family and your lifestyle
This means you should do your homework before hiring a contractor. You will not only get a completed job that is done right the first time, but you will also be protecting your hard earned money and avoiding the grief that comes with choosing the wrong contractor. Please feel free to contact Anckor if you would like more information or have questions.