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Spending time finding the best possible contractor for your project is a worthwhile investment that can save you time, money, and help you avoid catastrophe. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories of renovations or remodels gone wrong— it may have happened to you personally in the past. You can avoid any major difficulties by vetting someone you can trust from the start. Where to begin? Well, here are a few main points to consider:
Reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues for referrals should be your first step. People are generally happy to share their experience—good and bad. Make a list of any contractors that were highly recommended, and a list of contractors that you were instructed to avoid at all costs. You can reach out to friends and family directly or make a post on Facebook to get valuable word-of-mouth feedback.
Even if your outreach resulted in some promising contacts, it’s important to do additional research. Does the contractor have a website? Are there reviews online? Don’t let one or two negative reviews outweigh 100 good ones, but if there’s a trend of similar complaints you should probably scratch them off your list.
Be Clear on What You Want
Before approaching a contractor, you should have a very clear idea of what you want. Decide on the scope of work and your budget in advance. You can still be open to advice, but there will be less of a chance that you get sent in a direction you hadn’t intended. Again, if you start with someone you trust, you won’t have to always be on guard worried about being taken advantage of. Allow them to advise you, but having clear expectations set before you approach them helps keep you in control.
Explore All the Options
Don’t decide after talking to one person, no matter how well the conversation went. Get bids from several contractors, review the material, then select who’s right for the job. Once you’ve weighed price, trustworthiness and confidence for each choice, you’re in a much better place to make a decision. Additionally, letting a contractor know that you’re getting multiple bids usually results in them quoting you their most competitive price.
If you have any additional questions or you’d like some local recommendations, please reach out—I’m always happy to help.