Whether fixing your roof after a hailstorm or updating your kitchen with granite countertops, it’s important to find a competent, trustworthy contractor to get the job done. Hiring a subpar contractor can result in poor craftsmanship, delays or even legal problems in extreme cases. Depending on the job, a contractor and his or her work crew could be in your home (or elsewhere on your property) anywhere from a day to several months. Hiring the right contractor is no light task! Follow these tips for finding and hiring a responsible contractor to work on your home.
- Planning: The first step in any renovations is to decide what specifically you want done. Maybe you saw the perfect patio in a magazine or a to-die-for mudroom at a friend’s home. Develop a clear, detailed idea of the work you want done, including your budget for the project.
- Research and recommendations: The internet is a great place to start compiling a list of possible candidates for the job. Only use websites that offer customer reviews and be sure to read them completely before making any decisions. Another great resource is your friends and family. Perhaps your sister has a friend who recently remodeled her living room and raved about the professionalism displayed by the contractor. Ask the people you know for such recommendations.
- Narrowing your candidates: Once you have a list of viable candidates, you can narrow it further by crossing out any contractor who is not licensed and insured. This is very important because any injuries or unsafe conditions created by the workers could result in you being held liable if the contractor is not properly insured. Every responsible contractor should be able to provide you with his or her license number and proof of insurance before you decide to hire him or her.
- Making your decision: Your short list is now ready to be interviewed. Prepare your project ideas, questions and concerns before calling your contractor candidates. You may choose to ask the contractors for references (preferably recent clients) that you can follow up with and work samples that you can browse to get a feel for the quality of work. Once your list is narrowed to two or three contractors, you may want to conduct in-person interviews if you’re still not sure. Gage their friendliness, the thoroughness of their explanations of the job and professionalism with which they present themselves and their work.
- Write a contract: The contract should be as specific as possible, including a start date, estimated end date, budget, payment schedule, a breakdown of materials and who is supplying them (whether you shop for supplies or buy them from your contractor) and any other details you or your contractor see fit.
Depending of the job, the value of your home may be altered. For this reason, you should contact your insurance agent to make sure any necessary coverage adjustments are made and in place by the time the job is complete. And last but not least, have fun renovating!
Rest assured knowing that your home is covered. Call Integrity Network Insurance Group at (512) 989-6006 for more information on Round Rock home insurance.