Considering that the vast majority of homeowners have little experience hiring, overseeing, and checking the work of home contractors, it is no surprise than many have anxiety about the process. However, as long as you stick to a few basic rules, and put some effort into your hiring decision, finding the perfect contractor for home renovations is certainly within your capabilities. Let’s get into it.
Seek Out Personal Recommendations
While there are many online review sites for contractors, these are often managed and sometimes people are afraid to give the real, unvarnished truth online. A much better way to find a good contractor is to seek out recommendations from your friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbors. They will give you the real skinny on a contractor, and consequently, you can weed out most bad actors- you should still research them online, but a personal recommendation is a fantastic place to start.
Speaking of online research, following someone’s digital trail is a phenomenal way to get a better feeling for who they are and how they practice their business. There are several contractor rating sites including Yelp, Google Reviews, and review sections on various commercial sites like Angie’s List or Thumbtack. Reviews should not be the be-all and end-all solution you use to choose your contractor, but if someone has multiple poor ratings across different platforms you should either avoid them or be very careful in your dealings.
Do Not be too Focused on Price
Look- we all like to save a buck, but there is a difference between being frugal and cheap. For example, a McDonald’s hamburger is technically a hamburger, it checks all the boxes, but it isn’t exactly a seared 80/20 blend on a brioche bun- you pay less, you tend to get less. While you should focus on price if there is a massive difference between a certain contractor and the rest, it does not help to penny-pinch. Go with the contractor with the best record, history, and ability to communicate and deal with you- even if they cost a bit more.
Get a Contract!
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to not sign a contract with clearly defined goals and milestones for the project. Before starting a project, be sure to have all of your legal ducks in a row- make sure that your contractor is legally bonded and licensed, and that they have the ability- legal and otherwise- to perform the stated work on your house. Runaway from any contractor that is afraid to show you documentation or permits- unpermitted work can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction costs and fines.
For more home and real estate tips and information, check out our blog. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Philadelphia or the surrounding regions, we can help. Reach out to Coldwell Banker Hearthside today!