When you’re looking to update or renovate your home, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right contractor for the job. When you’re hiring a contractor, a checklist is a great way to get things started to make your home the best it can be. Whether it’s a new kitchen or updating your windows, there is a lot to consider. Who should you trust? How much will it cost? Will everything be done up to code? These are all valid questions you should be asking because many people who go with substandard contractors end up regretting it. So, let’s go over the checklist for hiring a contractor and five important things to consider.
1. Get Multiple Estimates
Like any other industry, when you’re hiring a contractor, there’s competition. From your local contractors to nationwide renovators, there are lots of options to choose from. One of the first things to keep in mind on that checklist for hiring a contractor is price. When you start shopping around, you’ll find that prices can vary a great deal, but don’t settle for the cheapest one right away. One helpful tip on hiring a contractor when it comes to price is that the cheapest may not be the best option. Typically, if you’re getting your home renovation for a “steal,” there may be other things you’re sacrificing. The quality, finish, and workmanship may not be as professional as you would like if the price is lower. Working with a trusted company may mean higher rates, but the results will last longer, and you won’t have to worry about touch-ups as often.
So make sure you do your research and look for multiple contractors who can suit your specific needs.
2. Check Their Past Work
It may seem difficult to vet a contractor, but simply looking at their work will be a good barometer of what you can expect. This is perhaps the easiest box to tick off on your hiring a contractor checklist. Ask them for a portfolio and talk to some of their other customers. That can tell you exactly what you need to know about the company’s craftsmanship and crew.
Another helpful tip on hiring a contractor: the more work they have to show, the more they have to offer you. If your potential contractor has a diverse portfolio that ranges from outdoor hardscaping to indoor finishing work, they’re more than likely a good candidate for your next home improvement.
3. See What Financing Options Are Available
Pricing your renovation can be a headache. Budgeting for a project, only to see it go way over budget, can be a huge problem, especially if you are relying on loans. If your contractor company offers financing, that’s a good place to start. There are many tips on hiring a contractor when it comes to financing, but most reputable contractors will offer 100% financing on any job. So, you won’t have to jump through all the hoops a bank requires to get a loan.
4. Check Their Insurance
This is one of the most important boxes to tick off on your hiring a contractor checklist. It is crucial to have a licensed and insured contractor working on your home. If not, workers could end up suing you and costing you thousands. If a company has the right insurance for the job, they’ll gladly share their COI (certificate of insurance), and you’ll be able to call the insurance company and verify it all with the policy number.
5. Keep a File
Keeping track of all the work you’ve done leading up to your home renovation is a great way to stay organized for future projects. It’s important to keep your checklist for hiring a contractor and use it as a reference when you’re shopping around. Take detailed notes of exactly what you want done in your house. Keeping everything you have on your list at-the-ready will allow you to effectively communicate what you need from a contractor and get the most out of your project.
In all things, do what works best for you. If that means scaling back a bathroom renovation to meet your budget, then do so! When hiring a contractor, a checklist is a perfect way to make sure you get exactly what you want and hire the best crew for the job.