When remodeling, renovating or building a home, choosing a contractor is paramount. Your home is a significant investment, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a quick decision on the professional you work with. Ask a lot of questions and take your time when making this decision.
Finding a Contractor
- Talk to friends who have had similar work done. They can tell you their experiences and can provide great references.
- Visit home shows in the Capital Region – there are several each year.
- Talk to the contractors & look at their portfolios.
- Call your local Better Business Bureau to check for complaints that may have been filed.
- Check the websites of local contractors and make sure they subscribe to the local CRBRA Code of Ethics.
Planning the Project
If you are planning a major renovation, we suggest hiring an architect or designer. Make sure you have a plan. If you don’t, you may want to consider hiring a design/build firm.
Prepare a detailed written description of what you want done and be as specific as possible. These notes you’ll want to share with your contractor.
Meeting with the Contractor
Select more than one contractor to discuss your project with. Ask for examples of their completed work and work in progress.
Consider asking the following questions: How long have you been in business; do you have a permanent business location; are you & your subcontractors licensed to do plumbing & electrical; do you carry worker’s compensation & liability insurance; will the contractor apply for all the permits; what kind of warranty do they offer; & request that an estimate include specifics.
Get it in Writing
Always, always get everything in writing. The contractor should provide a clearly written contract. Review it carefully before signing.
Most importantly, when you finally hire someone, consider their reputation, knowledge, reliability and willingness to stand behind their work!