As we head into a new year (2013) and you’re planning to take care of some much needed renovations around the house, spend the time to research the potential remodeling contractors that you’re going to meet with. We’d like to go over some key factors when doing research to help you find the best fit for your specific project!
From the business standpoint you should always check with your State Attorney General’s Office for appropriate licensing and insurances. Consider things like their length of time in the home remodeling business and their local reputation.
Now that the easy part is done, you may also want to dig a little deeper.
- Is your potential contractor social?
- Does your contractor have a presence on the internet??
Start by doing a search and finding their website as you may be able to get ideas for your project. Look for public reviews on consumer listing sites such as Google+, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and Insider Pages to name a few. It’s pretty easy to locate a contractors FaceBook page or Twitter account and you can get a really good idea on their social popularity with their local customers by simply browsing their business social profiles. Don’t be discouraged if your contractor isn’t on Twitter or FaceBook because in the contracting world social media still isn’t “mainstream”. But if a contractor is participating it’s a great way to see their work and reputation!
Private sites like Angie’s List can be a good resource as well, where a small membership fee is required but you can open a whole new world on reviews and responses that were submitted by the members.
Not all contractors are computer savvy nor advertise on the internet and that is definitely ok. Ask for references to call and review their portfolio of work. Discuss your ideas and be willing to accept any ideas and recommendations provided by the contractor. Budget, costs and payment schedules are another area to discuss, as well as, reviewing a blank contract to see if their paperwork is in order. The contract should note all company information, state laws, permits(if required), payment schedules, rescission period, scope of work, warranties etc…
Most of all, hire a contractor or company that you feel comfortable with and feel you can have a solid working relationship with. Your home improvement project is a mutual agreement where the services are provided as contracted in a professional manner and from start to finish, communication and cooperation will allow the whole project to run smoothly.