How to Choose the Best Contractor for Your New Home

To some it’s an addiction, to others, it’s simply unbearable-if you haven’t
guessed yet, I’m talking about home improvement. If you’re in the process of
planning to sell your home, home improvement is an excellent way to increase
the cost of your home and to attract buyers. If you don’t have the time or even
the patience to do renovations yourself, there are factors that you need to be
aware of when choosing the right contractor for the job. 

It is  not an easy task  to find a good contractor. The low level of
standards and controls on the market allows almost everybody to be in this
business.

 

1.     
Educate yourself

 

It’s important to
educate yourself about the work you want to have completed prior to meeting
with contractors. This way, you’ll have a deeper understanding of renovation
lingo, you’ll be able to provide the contractor with enough information to
prepare an estimate that meets your goals, be able to interpret any estimates
that you receive, and to figure out whether the contractor is overpricing their
work.

 

 

2.     
Check Contractors’ expertise,
past experience, and references

 

To select the best of the best,
you will need to check company’s  procedures,
specifications, references and  the way they
communicate with you. If the
construction company or contractor does not know how to communicate well with
you (even when the others have no problems), then the possibility for
misunderstandings in the project increases, and that means higher costs and
less satisfaction.

 

When you look at the
specifications of potential contractors, make a list of questions, which you
want to be answered. Those, who
respond to your e-mail or call you, should have  an advantage over the others. Nevertheless,  consider whether your questions were  answered clearly. This is particularly important for
issues that you are not clear about or you did not understand.

Below are some questions you need to ask each contractor.

– Did the Contractor omit a portion of the scope of work? If
so, have them revise the estimate.

– Are they using lesser quality materials (paint, cabinets, tile, etc.)?

– How long will it take to complete the work?

– Are they insured with a General Liability policy?

– Can they provide a minimum of 5 to 10 references from previous projects?

– Are permits necessary and if so, is the cost included in the estimate?

– Is the Contractor willing to let you visit several of their jobs?

– What type of Warranty does the Contractor provide?

If they do not understand what you
are talking about, ask more questions. Good
builders are the ones who know how to solve a problem. However, those who
insist on answering your questions and want to explain you every little detail
are the best.

 

Above all, try to find their ex
clients and personally see their past work. The best recommedation is a
satisfied client.

 

3.     
Are they affilated weith any
renovation networks/associations?

Look for contractors affiliated with the Better Business
Bureau, National Association of the Remodelling Industry (NARI), National
Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) or any other local building or remodelling association. Look at each
Contractors website to see what type of work they perform, any examples of
already completed work and their qualifications.

4.     
Consider hiring a green company

 

Today, houses are cheaper to
heat and cool and more comfortable than it was a case a few decades ago.

If you want to regain the money
you’ve invested in refurbishing or building a house it is necessary to connect with
a green company that understands your needs and has the knowledge how to manage
your task.

5.     
Walk the job

During your meetings, hand over your information that you
compiled and walk the job with each of them. Be prepared to answer numerous
questions. Some will be easy to answer and others may need some additional
research on your part. Either way, try to stick with your initial scope of work
and do not deviate because it will only make it more difficult for you to
interpret the figures on each bid.

Ask each Contractor how long it will take them to prepare the
estimate and make sure they honour those dates. If they don’t, that should be a
red flag.

Price should not be the
deciding factor when choosing contractors. People
often choose the lowest bid and ultimately discover that the contractor has not
done the job properly. High
quality papers require a certain price. It
may cost you more, but the job will be done smoothly and within the standards
of eligibility.

Cheaper can offer more chop at
the end, because you’ll eventually change the order, to correct errors or the
contractor to cancel the job. If
you ask for  three bids for your project,
you’ll get three different prices. If a contractor is 15 percent more expensive
than another, ask him why. Maybe
it includes more items in their offer. If
it is cheaper by 15 percent, maybe he forgot to include something very important
to you. Remember, you have the
right to ask a contractor what you want and they must know how to explain the
offer.


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more information on home improvement or to search through listings of
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