Aldrich Goldstein

Take these steps to find and choose a reputable contractor

If you're ready to take on a home improvement project, it won't be long before you begin your search for a reputable contractor. While there are many contractors to choose from, not every one is right for you.

The steps you personally take will impact which contractor you hire, as well as how the project turns out. Here are five things you absolutely need to do:

  • Talk with a minimum of three contractors: Have at least three people out to your home to discuss your project. This gives you a clear idea of what each contractor has to offer, from their experience to their vision to their price.
  • Don't focus solely on the cost: Many people get so caught up in the cost of a project that they overlook other important details. Just the same as anything in life, you get what you pay for. When it comes to choosing a contractor, price often reflects quality. It's okay to keep your budget in mind, but don't let this overshadow other details, such as experience and knowledge.
  • Ask for references: This is a great way to learn more about a contractor, including how they do business and what to expect along the way. Any contractor that won't provide references is one to avoid. They may be trying to hide something.
  • Don't start without a contract: This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as skipping the contract puts both parties in a difficult spot. Even if your contractor says its okay, be clear that you don't want to start until you review and sign a contract.
  • Be clear about your budget: After you agree on a price, let your contractor know how much wiggle room you have for changes and unforeseen issues. When you talk about this up front, you can avoid a major disagreement in the future.

As you can see, the key to hiring a reputable contractor is doing your homework. If you attempt to rush through the hiring process, perhaps because you want to start the project as soon as possible, you could make a poor decision.

Every home improvement project is an important home improvement project. If you run into a disagreement with your contractor, learn more about your legal rights.

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