Friday, 29 March 2013

How To Find A Good Contractor Home Improvement

This past spring I had been thinking about some home improvement projects. I was going to be having a little bit of extra time on my hands. I had a child on the way and my work had granted me some time off. I had envisioned a larger deck, and maybe an addition to the living room which would inevitably require some new roofing. I have some rudimentary carpenter skills, but I knew right away that my dreams were well above what I could do myself. Plus, I had no experience with the legal paperwork involved. I knew I needed to start looking for some professional help.

Go online and do some digging

Thankfully we live in the era of the internet which has opened opportunities everywhere. I used it to research contractors. I started with a basic search by typing "How to find a good contractor for home improvement", and went from there.  Here are some tips I used to help find a contractor.
  • Don't just pick the one with the best advertisement. Sometimes these ads are created by good marketers, but poor carpenters. Do a little digging and find a contractor with good experience, a proper license and insurance.
  • Know what type of contractor you are looking for: General Engineering, General Building, or Specialty contractors.
  • Get several quotes. Contractors are usually happy to give a rough estimate based on the information you give them. Compare the quotes and do some price shopping.
  • Find a contractor with a solid reputation for good honest work. They will almost always have a permanent office location. This shows stability and can provide you with some assurance your job will be done right, because they have nowhere to run if it's done wrong!
  • When you decide on a contractor get everything that will be done written down in the contract. This will include the prices for labor and materials as well as estimated time on the job. By having everything in writing you will be covering yourself in the event of a problem.


Ask around

Finding a good contractor was an interesting experience. After taking down a few names, numbers and addresses, I asked around among-st friends and colleagues if anyone had experience with certain companies. With the advent of review websites you can also look online to see if there have been any bad reviews about companies. For my needs I felt that I'd need to find a general building contractor and perhaps one that knew where to find a roofing contractor. I made several calls and spoke briefly about my projects. I had a few guys stop by the house from a couple different companies I liked and they took some measurements. Within a couple days I had some quotes to go on and I made a decision I felt comfortable with.

Be detail oriented

I had a contractor come over to go over the details. We sat in my living room for about an hour and wrote out a contract covering everything he would need to get started and how long it probably would take. This guy seemed like a straight shooter. He wanted to be covered as much as I did. Although this detail was definitely reflected in his quote, I knew exactly what I was paying for and felt the price was fair considering the project could be done within a month.

If you want to find contractors in your area, visit for the best advice on home improvement and real estate. I was able to get some great help through a contact by calling 1-800-987-1397. Start your search today.

Monday, 25 March 2013

How to Find a Great Building Contractor

I was searching for a contractor to help make some improvements on my home. I visited countless websites online, gathered some business cards I found at local hardware stores, and even wrote down some numbers I discovered on place mats at my favorite diner. Many of them had nice advertisements that seemed very tempting, but I really wanted to make sure I hired a professional. I was looking for someone with experience and the proper licenses and insurance policies, not some cheap hack off the street.

The plan was to make some major additions to my primary residence. This wasn't something I was capable of on my own, nor would it necessitate rudimentary carpenter skills. This was a big project. I was eventually successful because I was detail oriented and followed some basic steps during my search which I highly recommend to anyone who is trying to find a contractor.
  • Look for a company that is in a permanent location relatively close to you. This means they have some stability and will stand by the work they provide for you. They aren't going to run and hide.
  • Get a contractor with their own insurance plan. This is their workers compensation and liability insurance plans. If they have an accident on your property you don’t want it to affect your own homeowner’s insurance, which may not cover something like this.
  • Look for someone that has long history of experience in the industry. Being in business for a long time typically means a consistent service with a solid reputation.
  • By far the most important thing I did was get everything in writing. This helped my own sense of security and created a paper trail from the beginning of the project to its conclusion.
Three types of contractors

In your search to Find Contractors In Your Area you will discover that there are three types. There is the general building contractor that works mostly on building structures. These usually focus on home improvements like adding a new room to a house. There is the general engineering contractor that will have specific knowledge of how to manage projects such as excavation, leveling, and septic or sewer systems. Then there is the specialty contractor that does your various electrical projects, landscaping, as well as flooring and roofing. Since I needed a little of everything I hired a general contractor who then sub-contracted any jobs that required a special skill set.

Get it in writing!

Always remember that no matter what state you are in, a verbal agreement means nothing in a court of law. This is why writing everything out in contracts is so important when doing building projects. Things can go wrong, and time tables aren't always exact. It is better if you are covered in the event of a dispute. Imagine you find roofing contractors who tell you “We will be done with your roof in three days… guaranteed.” You know there is a storm coming at the end of the week, but you forgot to get them to sign that guarantee in writing. The roof doesn't get finished in the time they told you, your home is left partially exposed to the elements and things get ruined. However you are liable because you overlooked a given time frame in writing. Sit down with a contractor and go over everything in detail, making sure both sides know what is expected.

If you want help learning how to find a good contractor for home improvements visit to get started. They have representatives available by phone seven days a week. Just call 1-800-987-1397 for a free consultation.