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 Real-Estate-Yogi.com to get started. They have representatives available by phone seven days a week. Just call 1-800-987-1397 for a free consultation.