How to Choose a Reputable Contractor

You have finally decided to build or remodel your home. While picking out the cabinets, counter tops and floor covering can be exciting, choosing the right contractor is the most important decision you will make during the process. Before you break out the phone book and your checkbook, here are a few things to consider when hiring the right man for the job.

– Set a budget and stick to it. You do not want to start picking out your hard wood when your budget only allows for vinyl wood flooring. Set a firm budget that you are comfortable with and avoid deviating from this number once the job begins.

– Do your research. Decide what type of new home or renovation you would like to have and make sure it fits within your budget. Next, make a list of companies in your area that are qualified to take on your build or renovation. Your search for a qualified contractor may start in the phone book but it does not end there.

– Do your homework. Once you narrow down your list of possibilities, start asking your family and friends for their recommendations and past experiences with builders. Keep in mind that customer service is just as important as quality of work. You will ultimately make the decision of which company you would like to work with, but past customer reviews are invaluable in this situation.

– Ask the right questions. As you begin the interviewing process, be sure to ask your potential contractor the important questions. How long has he been in business? Is he licensed and insured? Can he provide references from both past customers and vendors? What work is he directly responsible for and what work will he subcontract to someone else? What new technologies can he bring to the table? What is his timeline for completion? Is he a member of any local or national builders associations?

It is also imperative to find out want types of warranties your contractor offers on his workmanship after the project is finished and if he provides service after the sale for any minor problems or touch ups that may occur.

– Do not sacrifice quality due to price. You may have to make some compromises along the way such as less expensive light fixtures or opting for a little less square footage. However, do not let a good builder get away and choose a less expensive option if it means you are losing quality work.

Finally, get everything is writing and never pay more than 50 percent upfront. Building or renovating your home can be an exciting and joyous experience, provided you have a qualified contractor you can trust.