How to Hire the Right Contractor

Contracting vs Contractors

If you’ve found yourself in a situation that will require you to hire a contractor, you are probably concerned about getting a good value without overpaying and being able to trust the people that will be working in your home. Here are some tips for hiring a contractor, as well as some general information about contractors that will help you make your decision.

Hiring After Disaster

If you’ve suffered a disaster that caused damage to your home, there are some special precautions to be aware of when hiring a contractor. Be careful about hiring out of town contractors. They may offer an appealing bid, but you need to be sure they’re a reputable company. Start by getting some referrals from your friends and family on local contractors that you might use instead. Be sure to check that they have all of the proper licensing and insurance – contractors are required to present this information when you request it.

When it comes to payment, avoid using cash because it’s not a secure type of payment. If you decide to pay by check, be sure you’re making the check payable to the business name, not an individual’s name. Be sure you have everything written on a bid or invoice and that you and the contractor both sign it.

Contractor Questions

There are a few questions that you should watch out for. A contractor should never ask you if you’ll be alone in the home when they arrive for work. This is because it can make it difficult to gauge their intentions. Instead, they may ask who else is going to be included in the decision making process regarding the work or payment, to ensure that everyone involved is there to give input.

The contractor should not ask you for your credit score. They generally won’t need this, and it can be an offensive question. Instead, they should ask about your payment method. Some contractors might run your credit properly, but don’t give your score to any person who just asks for it.

A contractor shouldn’t ask to see the other bids before they show you theirs. This may be an indication that they’re not intending to give the lowest possible bid. However, they should ask to speak to you once you’ve gotten all of the bids in so that they can explain why they chose the pricing structure they did.

Contractor or Handyman

Contractors are specially licensed to do skilled work, usually on larger projects. Handymen services are better for smaller jobs and repairs to your home that doesn’t necessarily require specialized licensing beyond a business license. Regardless of what type of professional you choose, always check their licensing and insurance.

General Tips

Bids that seem too good to be true, probably are. The lowest bidder may have kept the cost of the job low by cutting important corners.

Be sure to read everything carefully and check for a cancellation policy. Keep records of all communication, be aware of the expected date of project completion, and never pay the full amount before the project is 100% completed.
Posted on Apr 20, 2014


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