While on the surface the task seems easy, choosing a contractor requires dedication to detail, checks on who you are hiring, and a clear mind as to what you as the buyer and renovator want to accomplish. We came across a couple who recently purchase a 19th century home in lower Bucks County, but encountered a number of problems early on with the integral structure and wiring of the home. It did not take long to recognize that along with these issues, the older home was going to give Rachel and Tom more problems than they could manage on their own. “After having my father spend one too many hours trying to fix the issues in our home, I decided to go online and Google a local contractor that could help,” Rachel said. Disruption of electricity, plumbing, and roof wall breaking and falling had become weekly occurrences that the young couple did not enjoy seeing in a home they saw themselves and their new family in. After locating a formidable contractor on AgentsAdvise.com that suited their needs directly, they were able to avoid the hassle of spending long hours on the computer and weeks of trial and error before finding a competent contractor.
“I narrowed our choices down to three local contractors, and from there was able to put together which of the three was deemed the most reputable and advantageous for our current project,” Rachel tells us. Here is where Rachel and Tom correctly adhered their search to their specific needs, as opposed to going with the first ad that appeared on Google. The steps below are what they followed to get the best possible experience – and what you can likewise follow to make your next contracting job go as smoothly as possible.
What are you looking for?
Suppose it’s your kitchen area: list the problems you are facing, such as plumbing, breaking the shelves, getting new countertops, or whatever else your heart desires! Imagine how you would like to see your kitchen after renovation and describe it to the contractor in full detail. Having a clear picture will help you explain to the contractor what you are looking for. With this it becomes easier for you to explain everything to the contractor when you hire them, and allows you from the start to look for the right contractor and be realistic going into your project. Check whether they can understand your objective and can provide you with a specific plan.
Some contractors might not understand what you are trying to say or what you want and very clearly in this aspect, it indicates that you should not hire them. Choose a contractor who looks promising and understands your goal, and prepares a schedule accordingly.
Research about the contractors:
AgentsAdvise.com gives you the benefit of perusing local, quality, and trusted companies that suit a variety of different needs. However, they all may not suit your exact needs for your specific project. Head over to the category needed, and see our list of approved vendors that have been vetted and verified from our end. Any of these companies are prepared to perform a job – but what you want and what you need is specific to you. Digging into the company’s website and seeking out their reviews is very important from this point forward.
Visit the website:
Nowadays, irrespective of how small a company is, they have an online appearance. Look through the contractor or company’s website as it gives a lot of information about them. The company’s review section reveals a lot about them and their work, but should be taken with a grain of salt. Reviews online are important however, and need to be accounted for when looking to choose a company. Look to see if the company highlights their previous work, if they detail where their employees work experience comes from, and what they promise to offer you. To ensure that your renovated house is as per your expectation, considering every point is crucial.
Get bids from multiple contractors and allow them to walk your property:
Renovation and major improvements on homes are something that you want a lot out of, and are willing to put a good bit of money towards. Therefore, along with thinking about the quality of the work, getting bids from multiple contractors can go towards a better chance of getting the most economically sensical choice as well.
We suggest you try to get estimates from at least two of your top choices. The estimate that they will prepare also depends on how well you are about to explain what you want and whether or not they have been on site to assess the property in person.
To get the fairest and most accurate price, please let the contractor come and inspect the property prior to giving an estimate – so there are no misgivings and uncertainties from either end prior to the project getting going. Communication plays a huge role, and defining the goals clearing will help you get a correct estimate. Additionally, the price the top-rated contractor charges may be a little higher because of top-grade products – and if this is a part of what you seek, be prepared for this to be apparent in the estimate you receive. Whenever you are comparing the bids, it’s essential to compare two companies on the same level. If you are comparing a highly reputed company with an inexperienced company, of course, you will not come to a fair decision.
Be impartial and do not let persuasiveness get in the way of a clear headed approach to your home solution.
Look for explicitly listed skills and training:
While looking for contractors, it’s important to look that the contractor you are picking as a stated and proven work history and appropriate safety certifications.
Maintaining safety measures is essential for both the contractor as well as you holding potential liability of the contractors. If they do not have the proper training and skills, it can be challenging for both of you. In this aspect, it’s always better to ask everything before you are hiring. The best would be to prepare a checklist, and go on marking once a contractor qualifies a certain criterion. Going to back to our couple from the beginning, Tom noted that, “Establishing what we wanted out of our contractor’s background from the get go helped open up a loyal and open line of communication that was respected on both ends.”
It helps to make the entire process effortless, and also you will end up hiring an efficient contractor.
Get everything in writing:
It is said time and time again, but it is being said, yet again. In a day and age when literally anything is possible, having a tangible contract in writing and signed by all parties is a sure thing that can reduce stress on your end and completely eliminate the possibility of the contractor legally going off the plan and onto a beaten path. A written and signed contract may not seem important to both parties, or tedious to get done in the moment, but we always emphasize that you have it. Moreover, it will have all the details containing the payment dates, work details, how many days will they take to finish the work, applicable guarantees, etc. – that will in turn give you guides to updates on the project. Make sure that you read through every line carefully and check for loopholes. A lawyer can read through one of these contracts for a small cost to ensure you are not being swindled. Only after you have understood every detail should you and the contractor sign it. In case you come across any information that you do not agree with, discuss this with them. After signing, nothing can be changed, so ensure that you are clear on every detail.
At times, delays may happen at no fault of yourself or the contractor. Unfortunately this is simply a part of the contracting process, and knowing that these can be a reality can aid to ease any unforeseen stress that could occur.
Everyone involved must be on the same page from day 1 and form realistic expectations to provide that communication is often and honest. Outwardly advocate for this from the first meeting between you and your potential contractor to provide the best possible experience.
Now, choose a brilliant contractor!
By staying in tune to this general format, and ensuring that you have strenuously worked to choose the best possible contractor – enjoy going through a calm and ensuring process! Do not delay as your house will encounter more damage and the price of renovation will increase. Your home matters to you and acting sooner rather than later can help preserve it to make it that way for a long time to come.
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