Finding a contractor in 2021 can be a little bit harder than in previous years, but by the end of this post, you will be able to find a quality contractor. We are going to cover topics in your quest for a contractor like references, online reviews, type of contractor you need, budget, planning, ideas, licenses, and insurance coverage. Getting the right contractor for the job is going to save you time. stress, and money.
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Start planning for your project before you contact a contractor. Homeowners should gather some basic info or try to educate themselves enough to have an idea of what they want.
Ideas about your project you can share with your contractor will help narrow down the right contractor for you. Things like product quality, colors, textures, functionality, and customer needs and wants will affect the budget
Knowing what you can spend or want to spend on a project will help save you and the contractor time. Making sure what you want aligns with the contractors’ prices, otherwise, if your budget doesn't match you'll have the chance to discuss options to meet your budget during your first meeting. Don't wait to discuss your budget till later, the sooner the better. That way you know if your wants and needs can be met for your budget otherwise you would be wasting each other’s time.
Type of Contractor
There are various contractors for all sorts of home and business projects ranging from roofers to tile contractors. Some contractors are skilled at multiple trades and others may specialize in just one. Depending on your project and personal taste you may want to choose a specialist or a jack of all trade type. Unique high-end projects will probably require more of a specialist than other modest projects. For instance, simple things like hanging a door or changing windows may be completed by a handy man. On the other hand, your new pool and entertainment area would probably be better left to those who specialize in concrete, landscape design, and outdoor living contractors.
A classic time tested method of finding a contractor could simply be word of mouth. Asking your friend, neighbor, or co-worker that just had their bathroom remodeled is a great way to get an idea of a contractor’s habits, processes, and any potential concerns to address. Social media posts about the project your thinking about can go a long way too. I'm sure your friends are more than willing to give you a few recommendations.
A more modern word of mouth contractor finding tool is online reviews and review sites like Yelp, Angie's List, Home Advisor, and Thumbtack. A google search is likely to reveal reviews about potential contractors. Other sites mentioned previously may have more reviews. Most of them are free for homeowners and have paid or premium accounts for contractors to advertise their services on.
Preferred Contractors List
Check out our list of preferred contractors for quality contractors in your area. We thoroughly vet our contractors to ensure quality contractors only. We keep the number of contractors per profession low in each location. This allows us to be picky with the contractors listed on our site. We don't just let anybody on our list like some other services.
License, Insurance, Registration, etc.
Ask your contractor to provide proof of:
registration (not all industries apply)
subcontractors should have the same info
If they can't or won't provide the above-mentioned information, that should be a red flag and most likely wise to avoid the contractor.
A contractor’s overall online presence should be considered and looked at entirely. Things like their social media presence, online reviews, website, and affiliations should all be considered when making a decision.
How To Choose A Contractor?
Once you've reviewed all or at least some of the information about your potential contractors. Now's the time to reach out to at least 3 of them. You can contact more but 3 should give you a pretty good mix of competition and prices.
Pay attention to body language and speaking tempo when meeting with contractors. If the contractor seems nervous or even defensive this could be a red flag. Contractors that seem to be calm and confident through the entire meeting are more likely the one you want to work with.
Topics to discuss
Some points to cover during your initial discussions are:
Type of estimate- Itemized vs lump sum
Proper licenses, coverage and insurances
Project details- wants, needs, goals
Choosing a contractor can be tough but leveraging the above mentioned tools and practices should make the process easier for you. Be sure to look at a contractor or businesses online presence as a whole and try not to focus on just one area. Be sure to look at their online reviews, ask for referrals- current and past. It's best if you had a budget in mind and an idea of your project as well. This will save everyone time, money, and frustration.
Don't forget about our Preferred Contractor Directory to speed up the contractor searching process. We vet all of our contractors to a similar process mentioned above.
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