It can be very stressful to try and find the perfect contractor for your project. There are so many horror stories out there of projects going unfinished, vanishing crews, and budgets getting blown out of the water. To avoid all that headache, we suggest going through a very detailed and structured vetting process. There are a lot of “hiring a contractor checklists” out there, but these are the most important items we think should be on every list.
Do They Have Experience in Your Project?
One of the most critical parts of finding your perfect contractor is ensuring they have experience with the type of project you are considering. For example, if you’re looking to build an addition onto your home, but the contractor has never built an addition before, you’ll likely want to search elsewhere. Experience is vital in knowing that your contractor will be able to handle all the details that go along with that type of project.
Are They Part of an Association?
There are lots of remodeling associations out there, and they almost all require members to continually train their crews and keep up with new laws, regulations, and trends going on within the remodeling industry. At the same time, this isn’t a guarantee that a contractor will be educated and a great pick; it’s less likely to end with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
What Do Their Reviews Look Like?
Proceed with caution with this one. Remember that anyone can write an online review even if they haven’t hired the company. So read reviews and take what they have to say with a grain of salt. If the company seems to have an overall good rating with one or two bad ones, it’s likely the overall good reviews are the best reflection of their work. There’s always someone who isn’t happy with what they got, and you never know who might be out there just trying to get attention.
Do They Have a Process for Their Projects to Follow?
When meeting with a potential contractor, ask about how their clients are guided through each phase of remodeling. If they can’t give you a step-by-step example or if they have no process, you might want to look somewhere else. Hiring a contractor who has a straightforward design and build process is vital to the success of your project and the protection of your wallet.
Can They Provide You With Insurance Info?
You hope never to need it, but you’re glad to have it when you do. Hiring a contractor with insurance can give you peace of mind that not only are your protected but that this company cares enough to protect its clients and its employees. Life happens, and it’s not always avoidable so hiring a contractor who is ready for everything is essential.
How Do They Handle Scheduling?
How will the contractor handle scheduling your project? How will they communicate to you who will be at your home? How much notice will they give you? What if something happens and they can’t come that day, will you be informed? A good contractor will understand that this isn’t just another job site; this is your home. Having people come and go unannounced is unacceptable, and they will understand that. However, if it seems like scheduling isn’t going to be transparent or in writing, that could be a big red flag.
Do They Get Everything in Writing?
Never, ever hire a contractor without a written contract that includes a clear description of the work to be completed. Be sure to ask upfront about contracts and how everything will be documented, including changes that may occur. A professional contractor will want this clarity as much as you do. If a contractor beats around the bush about contracts, run the other way. If they have a clear and systematic method for documenting everything that will be done, you’re probably in good hands.
A home remodel project is a big deal no matter how professional or amazing your contractor is, but it can quickly turn into a disaster if you don’t spend the time interviewing and selecting the best contractor for you and your project. Use these items to ensure you hire the ideal contractor and get your project started on the right foot.