Finding the Right Home Improvement Contractor

As your home grows older certain changes and improvements are needed to increase its lifespan. Likewise, if you want to add some more rooms to your existing building layout, you need to make the necessary changes and improvements to your home. There are people who go for home improvements just to enhance the market value of their property. Some want to make their homes more energy efficient and cash in on the incentives provided by the federal and state governments. But who helps you in making all these changes and improvements to your home? Well, it is the home improvement contractor.

General contractors are professionals who have the necessary experience and exposure to making home improvements. These contractors help you in getting the work done according to your time schedule. So, it is extremely important that you identify and select a professional contractor who will not only provide you with a quote but will also tell you how to save on the costs. So, how do I find a good home improvement contractor?

Well, it is not so difficult in this age and time. There are various ways of finding a good home improvement contractor. One of the first things that you can do is to look into the local telephone directory. Look for people who are from your area and fix up a time with them and discuss your plans and ask for a quote.

You can find a lot of good home improvement contractors through the local newspapers also. For this, look into the classifieds. Many contractors display their ads in the local newspapers to attract new customers and generate business. Look up these contractors and discuss with them. You may find the right person to do the job.

Next, you can check up with your friends, relatives, colleagues and others and find out whether they can recommend their home improvement contractor. The good thing about this option is that it will save you a lot of time and money since the contractor is recommended by a person whom you trust and who has also experienced the contractor’s work.

You can also visit the internet and browse through various building and construction websites. You will come across some very good contractors. Likewise, there are many local area classified ads on the internet. As you browse through them, you will be able to find the right home improvement contractor for your home.

Home Improvement Contractors – How to Make Informed Hiring Decisions

When we talk of home improvement contractors we are referring to people qualified to undertake the smaller tasks, like installing new flooring, cabinets and windows or maybe revamping the landscaping. They are not to be confused with general contractors who undertake the bigger jobs like adding on rooms or remodeling an existing property. The reason I stress the difference is because many people tend to hire a general contractor when a home improvement one will do well enough. Knowing the difference can be a money saver!

In order to avoid any confusion over when to hire home improvement contractors and when to hire general contractors, follow this simple rule of thumb: if your job is estimated to take over a week to complete; if the job requires several pros to complete and if your job will require application for a permit(s) then hire a general contractor. Simple once you know how! Don’t forget to use the word residential, that way you don’t waste time dealing with commercial or industrial specialists first before you find the right person.

What is important is that you find the right home improvement contractors who will do the job honestly and not cheat you. How do you go about finding them is the question and we have put together some guidelines to help you.

Recommendations are good: friends, family and the local registry where the home improvement contractors are registered for your area. Even the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; all of these are good starting points. You could even try the big hardware stores and the local lumberyard, they will be sure to recommend people who pay their bills on time indicating that they are trustworthy.

Screening: once you have your list in place, telephone them to find out whether they will undertake your job, not all of them take on small jobs and some of them may not be able to handle the bigger ones. Ask about previous clients who will give them a reference, what sort of projects they have on hand at the present time, are they bonded and insured, the subcontractors they work with who will provide testimony as to their payment history. The answers you get will tell you whether the contractor is available, efficient enough to handle your project and reliable enough to complete it successfully.

Meeting: once you have shortlisted 2-3 home improvement contractors have a face to face meeting and take a look at their paperwork. A meeting will help you assess the individual you may be dealing with. Does the manner they employ put you at ease? Are you able to communicate comfortably?

Investigate: after the meetings, you must have mentally selected one person that you jelled with out of all the home improvement contractors you met. Be wise and investigate choices one and two thoroughly. Check out references with clients and sub-contractors, check the state’s consumer protection agency and local Better Business Bureau for disputes; check out the actual sites where the home improvement contractors are presently working.

Then move on to getting bids, setting payment schedules and above all put everything you agree on in writing.