Choosing the Right Contractor
When it comes to home improvement projects, choosing the right contractor is crucial. The success or failure of your project can depend on the skills and professionalism of the contractor you hire.
We have all seen those home renovation rescue shows where a hero (i.e. Mike Holmes) comes to the rescue of a family who chose a poorly skilled or shady contractor and now they’re facing some serious headaches. The issue is that people many people fall victim to scams and poorly or incomplete projects because there is a lot of money on the line so these scammers do their best to trick you.
But guess what, Mike Holmes’s show is cancelled so he won’t be showing up to your doorstep anytime soon to save you. Lucky for you, we’ve done some research and with the help of our key partners have determined some key things to keep in mind when looking for a contractor.
Ask for referrals and read reviews
A simple and reliable way to find a contractor is through word of mouth. Ask your friends, family and co-workers about recent work they’ve had done to their homes. Were they satisfied? Did it come in at budget? Was the work done on time? How professional were the workers? Ideally, you can find someone who has recently had similar remodeling done and they are happy about the contractor. However more often than not, you have to look elsewhere.
Other great resources include your own insurance company and sometime even your local trade school. Nearly all insurance companies have long term agreements set out with specific contractors based on their reputation. Another option is to contact your local college. Many of the construction programs offered at colleges throughout the country rely upon the advice of experts, to offer partnerships with their graduates to provide mentorship.
Finally, turning to reviews on their website, social media pages, and third-party review sites like Yelp and Angie's List can be another way to find a reputable contractor. I would suggest sticking to the other two referral sources before relying on online reviews because they can easily be faked or manipulated. So exercise caution because every company will have a 4.5+ but that doesn’t necessarily mean all that much
Get multiple quotes
Always be sure to get multiple quotes IN WRITING. The contractors that provide you with estimates should be knowledgeable and should be offering a reasonable price. Make sure you prepare a couple questions beforehand to test the contractor, however, a contractor who answers professionally may still not be great.
Another thing to check is the pricing they offer. The common saying is that if something seems too good to be true, then it most likely is so you’ll want to make sure that the estimate they provide are in line with your expectations. We typically recommend at least three quotes and in most cases, we would suggest opting for the middle one unless you have another reason to choose one of the alternate quotes.
Check credentials and licenses
A certified contractor will be happy to provide you with proof of their credentials. This could include their professional trade certificate or their business number (which can be referenced with an online search in most cases) to verify that they are legally operating and therefore accountable. Follow this by checking their professional insurance coverage. All legitimate contractors will have liability insurance just in case they ever misstep and end up causing damage for instance.
Any contractor who refuses to provide any of this information should automatically be removed from your shortlist. There are many other legitimate licensed contractors who are knowledgeable, extremely professional and won’t mind providing you with this information.
Properly define your project scope and requirements
Defining project scope is essential when renovating because it outlines the specific objectives, goals, and deliverables of the project. This definition ensures that the renovation project stays within its intended boundaries and aligns with the overall goals of the organization or individual. Without a clear scope, the project may quickly become unmanageable, resulting in delays, cost overruns, and other issues.
The scope of a renovation project typically includes a detailed description of the work to be done, the timeline, the budget, the resources needed, and any constraints or limitations. This definition helps to ensure that everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of what is expected and what is not, which can reduce confusion, conflicts, and misunderstandings.
Moreover, defining project scope also helps to identify potential risks and issues early on and develop a plan to mitigate them. This proactive approach can help to minimize the impact of any unforeseen events, keeping the project on track and within budget.
Review their portfolio
By reviewing the contractor's portfolio, you can get a sense of the quality of work they have completed in the past. This can help you determine whether the contractor has the necessary skills and expertise to complete your renovation project to your satisfaction. The contractor's portfolio can also provide insight into their experience in your specific type of renovation project. For example, if you are renovating a kitchen, you may want to review the contractor's past kitchen renovation projects to see if they have experience with similar projects. Every contractor has a unique style and design aesthetic. Reviewing their portfolio can help you determine if their style aligns with your vision for your renovation project. Finally, reviewing a contractor's portfolio can give you an idea of their creativity and innovation when it comes to renovation projects. If you are looking for a unique or custom design, reviewing the contractor's portfolio can help you determine if they have the skills and creativity to bring your vision to life.
With that being said, the most important thing to do is to trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, chances are that it isn't. So make sure that you do your proper background checks before hiring someone for your next project because it’ll save you time, money and loads of stress in the long run.
But that doesn't mean that renovation projects come without stress and always go well so alternatively, if you are interested in investing in real estate without any of the risks and work, leave it to us. Please contact us to get started today. Our investment specialists will be more than happy to show you how you can invest in real estate on autopilot.