Do Your Research When Hiring a Contractor

If there’s one thing more painful than witnessing an awful job, it’s having to pay (again) to fix that awful job.

When it comes to hiring contractors, you’ll want to do your research. Always make it a point to check reviews, and if possible, ask around to some friends and family to see if they have anyone worth of a recommendation. If possible, you can always get a first-hand look at the work in their homes as if it’s a contractor’s cover letter.

Some other qualities you’ll look for might include a contractor’s response time. Now, keep in mind, a lot of times a contractor may be in the middle of a project, wrist-deep in sheet rock or saw dust, so give them some time to respond. Generally, I recommend giving anywhere from one to two business days to hear back for a consultation. Anything longer than that, and it’s a pretty good indication of how hard it might be to get a hold of them when you’re in the midst of a project.

Consider setting a fixed budget and timeline to your projects. Don’t treat your endeavor like you have a blank check. Get a quote on materials and time, and stick them to it. As a contingency, you may want to set aside a certain amount – say, $250 – $500 – for any issues that may arise along the way, but that’s for you to know and them to find out. As always, get things in writing, and make sure they’re both licensed and insured.

Finally, have your contractor get permits. They may cost a bit up front, but it costs a LOT less than the expense of reverting a project that doesn’t meet town codes or pass inspections. Just make sure every open permit is also closed upon project completion, as certain towns may charge extra to close a permit that has been open for three or more years.

Need some tips and suggestions on finding a contractor? I’m here to help.

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