Tips for Finding the Right Contractor

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When you're ready to move forward with your project, finding the right contractor can be a daunting task. You may be tempted to go with the first good deal you find, but that can lead to big problems later - building delays, shoddy work, and even legal problems. So make sure you choose the right one by following these tips.

Make sure the contractor specializes in your project type

This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to overlook if you're not paying attention. By selecting a contractor specializing in what you need, you'll avoid a lot of headaches in the future. With so many codes and regulations in place, you want to hire someone who you can be sure will do the work correctly.

Check that the contractor is licensed and insured

Not all areas require contractors to be licensed, but having one is a way to demonstrate knowledge and credibility. Licenses are not given out to contractors who don't know the processes and building codes required of the job. They also add peace of mind to those hiring the contractor that they won't be scammed. Insurance will prevent liability on your end if a worker is hurt on the job or something gets damaged. So get the contractor's license number and proof of insurance.

Have a contract in place ahead of time

And make sure it covers every detail. Costs, item brands, estimated start/end dates, and drawings with specifications should be included. If you think you've written too much, then you're good to go. You can't have too much detail. Contracts can also help you keep track of who gave what bid when you're talking to multiple contractors.

Ask for work samples

Unless the contractor is brand new, he should have some pictures on hand to demonstrate clear examples of his work. In a way, samples are more important than personal references. You can see upfront the quality you're paying for and what type of design you're getting. The photos may even spark ideas for your own project.

Keep it local

It can be difficult to gauge how your project will turn out when you're working with a contractor you're unfamiliar with. Contractors from your local area who have been in business for a while are usually safer bets. Besides, you'll be stimulating the local economy by keeping your money in the neighborhood.

Need help finding a contractor in your area? Contact us at [email protected].