5 Steps For Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
Decisions regarding your home are rarely easy, and hiring a home improvement contractor is no exception. It can be tempting to make a quick contractor choice and get to work, especially when you’ve got a dream you’re excited to bring to life. But choosing too quickly can result in disappointment, shoddy work, and wasted money.
Whether your home needs a few layers of paint or a brand new kitchen, these criteria will help you evaluate your next home improvement contractor.
5 Steps for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
Like everything else in life, you can’t judge a contractor by his or her cover. Instead, assess them using these five criteria to start that dream project with confidence.
1. Prepare ahead of time
The more prepared you are with a home improvement plan, the more straightforward your meeting with a contractor will be. Of course, you may be open to advice or suggestions, but a general outline of what you hope to accomplish will keep the meeting on track. Consider these questions before you sit down to talk details:
- Do you need more functional space (for living, cooking, storage, etc.)?
- Do you want a simple update for outdated rooms?
- Is your home’s market value important to you?
- Are your floorplans dysfunctional?
2. Understand their pricing
Once presented with pricing, be sure you understand it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek clarification even if you’ve asked several times. Hiring a home improvement contractor is about connection, and you’ll get a good feel for a contractor by how they respond to your questions.
Along with understanding pricing, try to narrow down a home improvement budget before your meeting. It may be a range from low to high, but setting parameters can help your contractor recommend the right updates and materials for you.
3. Learn their credentials
As with most occupations, letters following your contractor’s name indicate certifications from national trade organizations. You may look for a contractor who’s a certified graduate remodeler (CGR), certified aging in place specialist (CAPS), local Building Industry Association member (BIA) and National Association of Home Builders member (NAHB).
4. Choose a contractor you’re comfortable with
Your search for a home improvement contractor will likely start online. Make a list of the companies you’re interested in and meet with your favorites to assess not only pricing, but also how you feel working with them. You may meet with multiple contractors or you might get started with the first one on your list. Either is acceptable, so long as you trust your chosen contractor!
5. Get your home improvement contract in writing
Once you decide on the contractor you want to hire, request a written contract. This document should include details regarding the project as a whole, time frames, total cost, and payment arrangements. Keep this contract in the same place as any related documents like payments and receipts.
These steps for hiring a home improvement contractor may not be a catch-all, but they are certainly a great start for helping you choose the right contractor for you.
Of course, we’d like to think we’re right for you, so give us a call to discuss all of the above!