Home repair and renovation is stressful, to say the least. It can be expensive and involves quite a few surprises, which are often unpleasant. For instance, rotten subfloors under tile, leaking pipes, or exposed electrical wiring can become nightmares.
All of this is made smoother when you have the fortune to find the best contractors in the market. Identifying reliable contractors is not easy. One can’t simply just search ‘how to find best contractors near me’ and expect magic to happen.
There is no set formula for finding such professionals, but you can always strive to do it right!
Research is one such solution and with so many factors affecting your decision, it is always better to ask the right questions! Let us look at the first one:
How To Find Contractors?
Here are some important tips to find the best contractors for the job:
Search Listings Online and Read Reviews
You can start with search sites such as Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, and Craigslist. On Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, you will find helpful reviews if you are dealing with trades such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, and HVAC. Thumbtack and Craigslist are also sites where you can find contractors.
Visit Home Building Supply Stores and Get Recommendations from Suppliers
You can visit large format box stores early in the morning and look at people buying supplies. Professionals buying large amounts of supplies are probably contractors looking for more work as they are already buying material for their current project. You can also check with the stores as they can also share the names and numbers of reputable contractors.
Get Recommendations from Other Great Contractors:
Some projects require multiple contractors and that’s how the circle expands. A good contractor will know another one. They have likely seen each other’s quality of work, how they operate, speed of execution, and work ethic. Asking for recommendations from other contractors may very well yield your quest for the best contractors. Though you may not ask, some contractors will tell you which contractors to avoid, which can avert a disaster.
Get Recommendations from Industry Members
Getting recommendations from industry members is another way to reach the pool of quality contractors. Both real estate investors and agents know a lot of contractors through different projects. Leverage these connections to build your network of reliable contractors.
Visit Work Sites
You could visit locations where renovations are in full swing. Speak to the contractors or workers on the job site. It is best to visit at the end of the day as the work is almost done and they have time to have a conversation with you.
How to Identify the Best Remodeling Contractors?
Remodeling is not the same as building from scratch. So, if you are looking at remodeling your property, then identifying the right contractor will require more than research. It requires more one-on-one. If you want the best work for your project, then you need the best contractors as well. Here are some more tips to identify the best remodeling contractors.
Assess Your Requirement: Have a plan, set budget, and completion deadline. It is your requirement, after all.
Interview Contractors and Obtain Written Bids: As mentioned above, ask the right questions. Make sure you get a written proposal with a proper estimate so that you are able to compare bids on the same materials and the same tasks. Reach out to at least three contractors.
Check Permits, Licenses, Complaints and Litigation: While procedure varies by local law, contractors and subcontractors have to be licensed. You can check your state disciplinary boards and local court records for any history of disputes with clients.
Also, about all home renovation projects need permits. Some companies and licensed contractors will insist doing away with permits to save money. Doing this would be a mistake as this violates ordinances and also makes you liable to fines and / or work stoppage. Work without permits can also create problems when you are ready to sell your property. A word of caution here – getting a permit is the contractor’s job.
You can also look at consultation with the real estate professionals here.
Check References and Online Reviews: References and reviews are good indicators of work ethic. Peers, suppliers, and former clients can be trusted to give a proper review on their experience working with your candidate. Ask subcontractors as well as other tradesmen if the contractor paid them on time or if the contractor’s calculations were reasonably close to the final cost. Ask f they got along with their project manager.
While the work speaks for itself, the best contractors ensures that they have good work relationships.
As mentioned above, you can also read reviews on sites such as Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Yelp and Google to make sure the contractor is the right person for your job and works well with clients.
Choose the Right Contractor: If its is a large renovation, then it may require more hands. A good remodeling contractor would easily estimate the costs and assess work so that you don’t stress about every piece of lumber or piece of tile.
Here, experience is as important as is the actual remodeling work. For instance, just because someone tiled your colleague’s bathroom does not mean that they will be able to execute larger renovation work. Choose the individual or the company that will not use your project as an experiment.
Check Availability: You already have the plan so make sure to check the contractor’s availability. Typically, one project takes at least three months. Having a timeline will ensure that schedules are aligned.
Sign a Proper Contract: Contracts ensure the work is done per the code and outlined scope. Include deadlines, materials, and payment schedule so that it does not create problems midway through the project.
Finding the best contractor for the project is a tough job, but will pay dividends in the form of a well executed project. If you still find yourself with more questions, you can do your own research by looking at different case studies.