If you’re planning a home improvement project this year, big or small, this could be a significant investment. For this reason, it’s important to know you’re getting the right person for the job. If you get the best deal, a renovation could add serious value to your home and help you maximize return on investment. Rather than going for the first offer you get, shop around and find the contractor you’re comfortable with. You’ll need to communicate regularly with them and agree on the right choices for your home, so it’s important to be on the same page. Here are a few quick tips to help you.
Outline your home improvement goals
First of all, you need to clearly outline your home improvement goals so that you can explain these to potential contractors. Planning a home improvement project can be a little daunting at the beginning as there are so many details to think about. For instance, there are several factors to consider when carrying out a kitchen remodel such as whether or not to move appliances, how much to spend on tiling, or worksurfaces, and so on. Figure out these details first so you can paint a clear picture to the contractor.
Set a realistic budget
Once you’ve got a few ideas you can create a home renovation budget. Try looking at different projects online to give you an indication of cost. You will need to factor in materials, labor, and equipment for any work you’re planning on doing yourself. Set yourself a spending limit and be prepared to be offered different bids from different contractors. It’s worth making a list of priorities now, to help you choose.
Ask for referrals
If you’re looking for a contractor you can trust, it’s worth asking friends and family members for referrals. Often local businesses rely on good word of mouth so you can ask around. You could even reach out to people in your local neighborhood who have had a similar type of work done and ask them about their experiences.
Shop around and put together a list of a few different companies before you decide. You can then carry out online research into each one. You should be able to find out online if they’ve been accused of negligence or poor service. If anyone you know has had a bad experience with a contractor, especially leading to hazards in the home, a team of skilled injury lawyers can help them with their case. Ideally, you don’t want this to happen to you, so do what you can to vet your contractors.
Read online reviews
One way to find out more about contractors’ reliability and reputation is to read Google My Business reviews. These are specifically for local businesses and many customers post on this platform. Online reviews can give you valuable guidance from people who have already used these services. Check out the company’s website as well or social media. These are also typical places for customers to post reviews. There should be plenty of resources available online about the businesses you’re interested in hiring. It’s not a great sign if there isn’t, unless you get a recommendation from somebody you know and trust.
Ask the right questions
It’s definitely worth preparing a list of appropriate questions to ask your contractor. These can include questions about their certifications and permits. You’ll also need to ensure they’re licensed and insured according to state law. It’s a good idea to ask to see examples of a similar project as well, to understand the quality of their work. Ask questions about pricing as well, for example, will they give you an itemized bid? Find out if they offer bids as an estimate or a fixed rate. While you’re speaking to them on the phone you should also be able to get a feel for them and whether you can imagine developing a positive working relationship.
Get a detailed bid
Get a detailed bid from each contractor you speak to before deciding on one. This should be itemized according to materials and labor, with details of the payment plan and contract dates. Read any small print and ask about any missing information. It’s better for both of you to be on the same page from the get-go, so don’t be afraid to negotiate and discuss. It’s important to develop mutual trust and communication. This way you’ll have peace of mind you’re getting the right deal and the best person for the job.