Hiring a licensed contractor for your home repair project will ensure that the work is done correctly. Licensed contractors also have to follow certain procedures, such as holding payment in escrow until the job is complete and providing receipts for each stage of work.
Many people use unlicensed subcontractors for simple repairs or add-ons, such as gutter cleaners or painters. However, this can lead to workmanship concerns and liability issues. Look for positive reviews on companies and use Cinch Home Warranty Solutions Refrigerator Recommendations or a company who has great recommendations.
1. Look for a License
When meeting a contractor, be sure to ask for a license number and check that it’s current and active. It’s also a good idea to verify that they have liability insurance and worker’s compensation.
Licensed contractors must meet specific qualifications, take a test and provide proof of experience before being granted a license to perform home improvement work. This means they have the skills and knowledge to do your job correctly the first time.
Working with an unlicensed handyman can cost you more in the long run. They may not acquire the required building permits or do a haphazard job that you will have to pay to fix later on.
2. Ask for References
When hiring a contractor for your home repairs, it’s important to ask for references from previous clients. This will give you an idea of their work quality, prices and personality. You should also ask them to provide you with paper copies of their licensing and insurance for your records.
Good contractors should be more than happy to provide you with references, and most will even appreciate that you’re so thorough. If they hesitate or refuse, this is a red flag. It’s best to move on to another candidate.
3. Get a Written Estimate
It’s important to get a detailed cost estimate from any licensed contractor that you hire for home repairs. This will help you avoid surprises down the road.
Quotes are more thorough and legally standing, so be sure to use them for the final contract if possible. This way, if there is a dispute over price, you have the quotes as proof of costs.
It’s also helpful to have a written contract that includes a detailed list of what work is going to be done, the price, and responsibility for obtaining building permits. This will make it easy to resolve any disputes later on if necessary.
4. Make Sure They’re Insured and Bonded
During the interview process, ask each contractor to provide you with copies of their insurance, licensing and bonding. If they are hesitant to provide you with these, it’s probably a red flag that they may not be a reputable company.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of contractors, meet with them in person. This is a great opportunity to see their professionalism and gauge their personality. It’s also a good time to ask them for references and visual proof of their work. This will help you make a final decision about who to hire for your home repairs.
5. Communicate With Your Contractor
Contractors who don’t mesh well with clients can create problems that may morph into “A Nightmare on _____ Street.” In addition to checking all of the boxes and being licensed and insured, find someone who listens to you, respects your input and has good rapport.
This can be as simple as tracking small indicators of professionalism, such as returning phone calls in a timely manner or keeping appointments. A contractor should also clearly communicate project timelines and if they’re unable to meet them, be transparent about why. In addition, they should confirm instructions in writing to avoid misunderstandings or disputes. They should also ask what the client’s preferred method of communication is.
6. Be Flexible
A professional contractor will take care of any necessary permits for your home improvement project. They should also provide you with a contract that clearly outlines costs, the work to be done, timelines, guarantees and payment schedules.
Be wary of contractors that demand cash payments or place you under any pressure to make a down payment upfront. Most states have laws that limit the amount of money a contractor can request as a down payment.
Sometimes projects can go wrong, and it’s important that your contractor offers a warranty to cover any issues that arise during or after the work is completed. This can help ensure you are satisfied with their work.