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By Low Jeremy
Whether you are replacing a roof or adding a room, one of the most important things to consider at the early stages of a home improvement project is to find who will work to get the job done. Most people hire a contractor that worked for them in the past or completed a good job for friends or neighbors. But what if it is your first time to take this step and you don’t have anyone to ask for reference? Here are the things you should consider what you are finding the right contractor:
Ask friends and neighbors. Assuming that you, your friends, and neighbors haven’t hired a contractor in their lifetime, they probably know someone who have been there before. Start your search there. Get references from anyone you know. With few questions from people around you, you can find the one that fits to your need. Word of mouth is still best if you are finding the right contractor.
Don’t just look at the cost. Home improvement comes with a price, but this should not mean that everything should be decided on the cost of the project. The most common mistake homeowners commit when finding the right contractor is that they fail to look at the bigger picture and instead concentrate on the cheapest price in the market. Take note of the saying, “you get what you pay for.” Whether you are on a budget or not, finding the right contractor should involve shopping around and asking estimate from at least 3 contractors. Compare the price against the materials, labor, and the promises they made. You might have hired the cheapest contractor but ending up dissatisfied with the result of the job. Beware.
Know the Red Flags. Red flags are easy to spot if you are thinking logically and focusing on your objective to improve your home. But things can get blurry if finding the right contractor means focusing too much on the contract price of the project. Raise a red flag if: the contractor asks you to pay the entire cost of the project upfront; the contractor gives outrageous promises and pressures you to make immediate decision; the contractor goes door-to-door looking for costumers in an unmarked vehicle; the contractor gives vastly different quote from other contractors; and the contractor gives vague estimate.
Note the good signs. The good signs you should remember when you are finding the right contractor for your home improvement project can be easily spotted. Usually, right contractors have served several satisfied clients and have been in the business for quite some time. They are honest, punctual, give realistic estimate, respond to your questions, assist and suggest steps you should take when you are clueless about the project.
After finding the right contractor, make sure that everything is clear. Before signing, read the contract and ensure that the work details are complete from time schedule to warranties, quality materials to be used for repair and building, and cost. Finally, never leave empty spaces in the contract.
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