There are currently 680,000 construction and contractor companies in the United States.
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know how to hire a contractor.
Thankfully, we have the perfect guide to help you out with your home improvement project, so make sure you keep reading!
Figure Out a Project Timeline
First, figure out what your remodeling project timeline is. Start looking on Pinterest or home improvement sites to get inspiration. You may even want to visit an open house or a showroom for inspiration.
Save all of these images in one place so that you can show the contractor when you meet with them.
You should then make a list of all the things that you want to accomplish. List them in order from the most important things you need to what you want.
It can also help if you can have a rough sketch of what you’re envisioning. Try and add in the square footage of the area you’re working with. This will help the contractor get a sense of whether or not the project is realistic.
Ask for Recommendations
Once you’ve decided what kind of project you want, you’ll need to start looking for a general contractor. You can start by checking the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
This will show you a list of all the members in your area, and you can rest assured that those contractors will be legit.
You might also want to try and ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations. However, just because you get a recommendation doesn’t mean you have to go with them.
The recommendation might not be great for your specific home improvement project.
Make sure that you get home improvement quotes from at least three different contractors.
You should stay away from contractors that will quote you too low or high. If you try and save money and go with a cheaper one, then you may not have a completed or quality project.
However, if someone is overcharging you, it could be a scam.
Check for License and Insurance
One thing you can do to avoid a scam is to check if the business has insurance or a license. They should be licensed specifically for your state.
Most of them will also need a general or a specialty contractor license. Check what the rules for your area are, and then make sure that the contractor follows all of those rules.
Normally you can find this information on their website, but if they don’t have it listed, you can always contact them and ask for proof.
You should also ensure they have insurance. That way, if something goes wrong during your project, you’ll be covered. Otherwise, if something happens on your property and they don’t have insurance, you could end up being liable.
Once you’ve found three contractors that you are interested in, make sure you interview them. This will give you a chance to ask them questions and ensure they’re the right fit for you.
For example, you should ask them questions like how much experience do they have What work are they specialized in?
Have they worked on programs similar to that? Is this realistic, and what parts are the most challenging?
What is the timeline for the project? Do you have any payment plans? Do you have any references that you can share?
Get Everything in Writing
When you do find someone that you want to work with, get everything in writing. If you’re going to set up a payment schedule, make sure that you have it in an email or a contract.
You shouldn’t pay anything before they start work. If they don’t have the money to start a project, you may want to go and find a different contractor. You should pay most of the fees after the project is done.
Also, make sure that you get proof of liability insurance, compensation payments, the start and finish date of the project, the materials used, any requirements, lien releases, and the suppliers and subcontractors in writing as well.
Don’t let the contractor pressure you into not getting any of those into writing.
Finalize a Contract
Once everything is in writing and in the contract, you can start to finalize it. You should make sure that all of the details of the project are in there.
There should also be contingencies in case something goes wrong. For example, there should be a time frame and a payment plan if the worst-case scenario does happen.
You should also ensure that the subcontractors are all listed in the contract. Check the subcontractors as well and ensure that they have insurance and workers’ compensation.
If you do need something that needs to be in the contract, force them to get it updated. Don’t just verbally agree to it and then sign. Because at the end of the day, it’s your word against theirs.
Learn More About How to Hire a Contractor
These are only a few things to know about how to hire a contractor, but there are many more things to keep in mind.
We know that moving and trying to do a home improvement project can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.
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