Home Improvement Guide - Choosing a Good and Affordable Contractor
By Carrie Reeder
When making home improvements, some homeowners choose to handle the project themselves. However, individuals with little home improvement knowledge will have to rely on a contractor. Selecting a good and affordable contractor is essential. Because some contractors are shady and charge ridiculously high fees, picking the right contractor requires research. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best contractor for your next home improvement project.
Asking family and friends for the name of a good contractor may prove worthwhile. If a relative or acquaintance completed similar home improvements, and were satisfied with the work, using the same contractor may speed up the selection process. Trying to identify a shady contractor is difficult. Using referrals to select a contractor will increase your chances of finding a reputable home improvement company.
If your friends and family cannot refer a good contractor, you will have to rely on the yellow pages and other forms of advertisements. The yellow pages include many listings, which makes the selection process challenging. Rule of thumb: do not hire the first contractor you contact. Instead, request information and quotes from several companies.
Get an estimate and ask how long it will take to complete the job. Each company will quote you slight different estimates. It is tempting to choose the least expensive contractor. However, keep in mind that more expensive contractors may use better materials or has a reputation for good work.
As you begin your search for a good contractor, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your local area. If a contractor or company has received any complaints from past customers or has developed a bad reputation, the BBB will have this information. While browsing contractors, choose one with a flawless record.
Along with researching complaints by the BBB, request references from the contractor. Ideally, references should be current and include customers that had similar work completed on their homes. Contact previous customers to see if they were satisfied with the contractor's work.