Want to update your kitchen or bath? Or how about making your home bigger to fit the needs of your growing family? Have a home improvement project that is just too big for you to do on your own? If so, you’re going to want to hire a good, reputable, and trusted home improvement contractor.
How to Spot the “Bad” Contractor
Choosing the right home improvement contractor for your project can make all the difference in terms of workmanship and your overall construction experience. However, selecting a quality contractor can be difficult.
You Must Do Your Research
Shoddy contractors offer big savings, yet tend to cut corners on such things as liability insurance, permits, and quality materials and workmanship. Shoddy contractors can start immediately, as they are not in high demand, or they will not hesitate to bump someone else’s job to start yours. Shoddy contractors are only interested in you until your check clears and are uninterested in maintaining long-term professional relationships with clients.
Below are some tips on how to select a quality home improvement contractor :
Do Your Homework
Before embarking on the selection process, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the requirements of your upcoming project, along with basic construction jargon. Knowing these details will make it easier to converse with potential home improvement contractors and weed out the bad ones. When evaluating contractors, make sure to interview at least 3 candidates. By having each submit a written bid, you will be able to narrow your choices, and select the one which best suits your budget and various expectations. Sometimes, the least expensive bid is not always the best.
Asking friends, family, and neighbors, who have had work done on their homes for referrals. Ask for references from those who have had good experiences. Finally, research the business online; check websites for the company history, read reviews on trusted sites, and if possible, check out past completed projects.
Ask the Right Questions
Never be afraid to ask questions during ANY part of the construction process. Along with discussing your project in depth, we encourage you to ask your potential home improvement contractor the following questions during the bid interview:
- What is the contractor’s license number and insurance information? You can verify if a contractor is licensed in Maryland at the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. Note: Avoid unlicensed contractors and contractors using another person’s license number. Make sure to ask to see the certificates.
- Does he mind if you check his credentials with the state contractor’s board?
- Does he have a local permanent mailing address and phone number?
- How easy is it to contact him?
- How much experience does he have in the type of work you want him to do? Ask to see some of the contractor’s past work.
- Does he have any local referrals? Does the contractor possess a trustworthy reputation among customers and peers? Is there a track record of quality work?
- If you approve of the work you have seen from the contractor, request references and call contractors’ former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractors did at executing the projects. Were they on time and on budget? Were the customers pleased with the outcome?
- Will the contractor be doing the work himself or sub-contracting all or part of the work out? Does the contractor maintain solid relationships with others such as plumbers and electricians and work with them as a team?
- Is he willing to sign a contract for the job awarded to him?
- Will he obtain all the necessary permits in compliance with the local authority?
- Do they offer a warranty on all work completed?A good home improvement contractor will always take the time to listen to your wants and needs and explain their suggestions in a non-imposing manner. Doing a little homework goes a long way – with a careful evaluation and thorough background check, you should be able to avoid bad contractors. Most importantly, this decision is completely up to you, and should not be rushed.
Feel free to contact Trademark Construction, LLC for any advice during this first step of your remodeling project!