Home improvement can be a complicated process. Finding a general contractor to work with is one of the most difficult parts of the project. Many homeowners feel like they can’t trust a general contractor for a number of reasons. At the top of the list is the fact that most general contractors will try to take advantage of you if you have no experience in home renovation. Therefore, you need to gather as much information as you can to be better prepared to navigate the road ahead.
When to Hire A Contractor
When should you hire a contractor? A lot of first-time renovators aren’t sure about what tasks to do as a DIY and which ones to entrust to a professional contractor. That’s the first part of the project – figuring out who to work with. When should you choose a handyman over a general contractor? Weighing the level of labor your project requires is a good place to start. Are you replacing tiles or re-grouting them? Are you taking walls down or hanging things on the wall?
Naturally, large-scale projects that may involve plumbing and electric work require an inspection permit, in which case, a contractor with a home improvement license from the state is needed. Smaller projects to patch over errors or make repairs can be done by a handyman. Do some research to help you determine whether you need to hire a contractor or not. It’s the first step to getting your project off the ground. The next and perhaps the most important step is making sure that you get the best general contractor for the job.
Choosing a General Contractor
Finding a good general contractor can be a grueling process. When reviewing contractors, start by looking at someone who has done similar works in your neighborhood. At this point, you should be looking for happy customers who are willing to rave about the good job a contractor did in their transformational renovation project that has lasted for years. This means that the contractor’s work can stand the test of time. Here are key factors to consider when hiring a contractor:
- License. Are they licensed? Before you hire a contractor, make sure that they have a general contractor license. Working with an unlicensed contractor is risky and not worth it even if they charge cheaper rates.
- Better Business Bureau. Check the contractor’s BBB rating. The BBB rating will give you a general idea about the contractor’s quality of work based on their past projects. Google reviews can be quite helpful too.
- References. Does the contractor have recent, reliable references? Look for any remodeling jobs that the contractor has done recently. Do the clients seem satisfied with the work?
- Reviews. Check the contractor’s reviews on Google. This will allow you to see if the company has had any complaints, how frequently the complaints happen, or if they really stand up to their word.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask. Is the contractor communicative? Both the contractor and the homeowner need to be on the same page at all times. Remember that the contractor will be handling the project to the end and you need to be able to trust them throughout the renovation process. Be decisive, be direct, and be clear about what you want.