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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Tips to Select the Best Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project

Written by Posted On Monday, 12 March 2018 07:33

Getting work done on your home is a very crucial endeavor. Whether you’re looking to put the property up for sale or making modifications for your own comfort, it’s something that you’ll want only a qualified contractor to handle. The reasons are clear: A shoddy job will simply not look as good as it should, but even worse; it could be dangerous to you and your family.


Sifting through all the contractors in the phonebook or online might seem very daunting at first, but here are a few tips that can help you make the right selection conveniently:


1. Explore Your Network – Your family and friends are the best place to start, since people whom you know will likely have employed the services of contractors for similar projects. It is the quickest way to get someone reliable since you’ll be depending on the endorsement of someone with an incentive to make sure you get the best. Be sure to ask them for details so you can know what to expect in terms of quality of work as well as customer service.


2. Check out Their Office – While there are certainly some contractors who do not have office space but are still of good quality, it is always a good rule of thumb that companies which take the pains to set up physical offices as well as 1300 numbers are more likely to be reliable than those which do not. Apart from that, a showroom or office will give you an opportunity to see home improvement products and get a clear picture of how they’ll look in your home.


3. Liability Insurance – A large number of things could go wrong in the course of a home improvement project, and if your contractor does not have liability insurance, it could leave you in a lurch. Ask any company you’re considering if they do, and if you have any doubts, ask to see proof. It’s better to risk some awkwardness at the initial stages than a full-blown meltdown if things go badly.


4. The More Services, The Merrier – Working with a contractor that offers a broad range of services will be much more convenient for you in the long run. Instead of having to deal with an architect and a separate contractor for every aspect of the project, a full-service remodeling company can handle the work from start to finish. Some contractors even handle the processes involved in getting permits from the authorities where your project is located.


5. Quality over Cost – As with every purchase, it’s very easy to get tunnel vision and focus solely on the costs alone. That would be a very bad approach here because cheapness is often indicative of lower quality materials or less expertise. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should automatically go for the highest bidder or that you shouldn’t negotiate to get the best price possible.

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Martina Angel

Martina Angel is a writer and real estate agent. She is especially interested in the purchase, ownership, management, rental and sale of real estate for profit. She also volunteers for local water conservation charities in her free time.

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