If you’re about to renovate your home, and you want it done right, you’ve probably considered hiring a contractor. Although many homeowners choose to do their own renovations, most jobs are better suited to professional renovators. But how do you go about finding the right help?
You don’t let just anyone into your home – so don’t be lax when it comes to who’s working on it, either. You want to make a choice that will benefit you and your family in the long run. Choosing the wrong contractor could result in a lot of trouble, and if the person you’ve hired doesn’t know what they’re doing, it could even damage the value of your home.
To avoid scams or mishaps that would jeopardize not just your renovation, but your peace of mind, here are a few tips we’ve compiled to help you hire the right home renovator.
Never Hire Without…
Insurance and Licensing
Unless you’re prepared to pocket potential damages or unexpected expenses, make sure your renovator is insured. Licensing helps to determine credibility, and both types of documentation ensure the renovator is professionally liable. This type of accreditation also determines that they acknowledge and understand local rules and regulations for the type of work being done.
A Detailed Contract
If the person you are looking to hire is vague about your agreement or hesitant to put details in writing, you should reconsider working with them. While a contract doesn’t necessarily need to be pages long, it should clearly outline expectations surrounding the job being done. Consider addressing timelines, materials and supplies, as well as payment schedules. A contractor worth their salt appreciates the value of clear communication.
References and Reviews
Any professional may have years of experience – but that doesn’t mean the experience has been good! Ask them for at least 3 references, and try to be sure that they are recent. Prepare a few questions in advance, and allow the references to speak for themselves. When looking at reviews, keep in mind that there are always negative customers looking for a reason to complain. Don’t write a company off over a few poor comments – look for consistent positive feedback and never hesitate to request work samples.
If you’ve narrowed down your list, consider the following qualities when making your final decision on who to hire for your home renovation.
Ability to Communicate
Make sure that you feel comfortable communicating with the contractor you are hiring – this is one of the most important factors to consider in a project such as home renovations. There is nothing more disappointing than great work being done only to be misaligned with a client’s vision!
Comfortable in Leadership
Unless you’re also a professional in the industry, your home renovator will be the most informed when it comes to making decisions if and when hiccups occur. If the renovator will be using subcontractors, leadership will also be an important factor in determining the quality of their work under your renovator’s direction, and how the different pieces of a project will come together.
Passionate About Their Work
You don’t need Oscar the Grouch putting the finishing touches on your new nursery. Be sure that you hire someone who enjoys what they are doing – the results they produce will be ten times better than those from someone who is just looking for a paycheck. Choosing a home renovator who is inspired might not be intuitive, but creativity and adaptability are just as important as expertise when it comes to making a house a home.
Sure, the top candidate may have been running their own business for years, and they may have a long list of happy customers, too… But do they have experience in the type of renovation you need? Are they knowledgeable regarding the specifics of your particular project? Are they able to complete the job to the standard of professionalism required, based on their work history, or is this new territory for them? Make sure you have a clear understanding of this key point to mitigate expectations on both ends.
Always Shop Around
Don’t sign off on your first option! Once you’ve truly determined the scope of your project, as well as an appropriate budget, compile a list of potential candidates to compare. Whether you heard about someone through word of mouth or they have the best ratings online, be objective and use a similar set of screening questions when making your choice. With all of this in mind, you are sure to make a great selectio