Choosing A Contractor For Your Remodeling Project

by Leroy K. Calstard

Home Building and Remodelling: What You Need To Know

Whether you are remodelling your kitchen, getting new windows or building an addition, choosing a contractor is one of the most important steps the process. Hiring a competent, reliable and professional contractor is the first step toward a successful home improvement or home repair project. It takes more effort than a simple phone call. Most homeowners would agree that contractors and home improvement companies vary significantly by cost, availability, expertise and professionalism. Taking the time now to do research could save you unnecessary headaches and, most importantly, hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Adhere to the recommendation to obtain at least three estimates or quotes. You will be surprised to find that two contractors may submit two widely different estimates on the same project. When comparing the estimates, though, be sure they are providing a quote on the same scope of the project, timeline and quality of work. Otherwise, it is a rather useless comparison analogous to comparing applies to oranges.

Also, request to see the contractor’s license and certificate of insurance. Most states require a contractor to carry certain types of insurance, such as worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability. However, many either never purchased it or allowed the policies to lapse. Without proper coverage, you could be liable for any employee injuries or proper damage caused during the project.

Do not be afraid to contact and investigate local references from previous customers. Ask questions regarding their satisfaction with the contractor’s work, if they finished on time and the communication between the contractor and the homeowner. Keep in mind that a contractor may provide a reference with the mindset that he performed great on the job, but the customer may feel differently. Considering you are the potential customer, you will want to at least hear the customer’s perspective.

Because your home may be one of your most valuable assets and largest investments, it is important to hire only the best. You need to protect your investment by hiring a quality contractor and/or professional to work on it.

Home improvement, repair and maintenance professionals often advertise in the telephone book, online directories, on the radio or TV or through online referral services. Do not evaluate the contractor’s quality based on the advertisement. The best way to obtain referrals is from friends, family or co-workers who have worked with contractors on their home improvement projects. Even with these referrals, though, be sure to get multiple estimates and be sure the estimates are in writing. Do not automatically choose the lowest quote, also. Ask the contractor to explain price variations. The contractor may also be willing to revise the quote after some discussion.

Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable with the contractor. Communication is at the core of a successful home project and, if you do not feel comfortable communicating with the contractor, problems will likely arise.

Concentrating on information about workbenches, Leroy Calstard works most often for http://www.insidewoodworking.com. His contributions on woodworking bench are found on his website.

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