How Do You Hire a Dependable Contractor?

contractor working in home

Most of us have heard at least one nightmare story from a friend or family member about a home remodeling project gone awry. For most homeowners, their home is the largest investment they make: it makes sense to take the time for some research before entrusting someone to work on your house. If you are looking for a professional painting company, see our blog. For hiring a dependable contractor after a storm, read more blog post.

If you are seeking out a contractor for a home renovation or custom home building, use this checklist as a guide for hiring a dependable contractor.

Can you see examples of projects like yours they’ve completed?

contractor drawing plans

Don’t just ask a contractor whether they can build your new addition and take their “yes” as proof they’re capable of competently completing your specific type of project. A reliable contractor should be able to provide you with references from past clients. Do not bother contacting a reference from five years ago, rather ask for current references from the past six months to a year.  

Read online reviews and talk to friends, family, and acquaintances.

You can look business reviews up on various review sites, like Google, Facebook, Houzz, Guild Quality (a third-party reviewing site), The Better Business Bureau, and more. Many reliable contractors get a significant part of their business from word of mouth, so check with people you know for recommendations.

Be sure they have licensing, insurance, and follow laws and regulations.

Request to see the company’s professional licensing and insurance certificate. Be sure that any tradespeople they work with are covered or have individual insurance—also check the longevity of these relationships with the contractor. Have they developed good consistency with subcontractors, or are they hiring new subs for each project?

Your contractor should get all appropriate permits for your project. Do your due diligence by getting a list of necessary permits and requesting to see them.

Work out a reasonable payment schedule and get it in writing.

$100 bill on top of smaller bills

Most contractors request 10% down before beginning a project, unless your materials are high cost. After the project begins, a standard payment schedule would have you pay all but the remainder throughout specific timelines in your project; for example, 3 payments of 25%, with the final 15% to be paid when every detail in the contract is completed as specified.  

Get everything in writing.

Interview at least 3 contractors and get estimates. Lower is not always the best option. Especially, be wary of a very low price. Your contractor should provide you with a thorough, written scope of work.

Prepare for the possibility that the quoted amount may increase between 10-15% due to unforeseen circumstances or issues behind walls. Don’t be blindsided by an additional cost due to complications with your project.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to select a reliable contractor for your next remodeling project or custom home building. Seeking a contractor near the Crystal Coast? Contact COD Home Services, LLC., today!

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