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If you’re getting ready for a renovation project in your St. Louis home and planning to work with a contractor, it’s worth investing the time to find someone you can trust. There are plenty of horror stories out there about never-ending projects and constantly increasing budgets, but these usually happen in scenarios where the contract wasn’t properly vetted before getting the job. So, what can you do to avoid those difficulties and set the stage for a successful partnership with your contractor? Here are some key tips:
Start By Asking Around
Word of mouth is powerful. People are often motivated to share about particularly bad and particularly good experiences, so this can double function for you by weeding out those contractors you don’t want to work with and raising others to the top of your list. Whether you reach out to some friends and family directly or make a post on Facebook looking for recommendations, getting that word-of-mouth feedback is highly valuable.
Do Your Research
Hopefully, you’ve gotten a few names from your outreach, but even if you’re starting from square one, doing your research is key. Sure, you can visit the contractor’s site, but you’ll also want to look for reviews on other unaffiliated sites for a less filtered perspective. Consider how many reviews there are and look for consistencies. One or two people having a bad experience out of a hundred might not be cause for much concern. But if you start to see a trend of people complaining about similar things, you might want to stay clear.
Know What You Want
You have a responsibility in working with a contractor, too. The more clear and upfront you can be, the better. If you’re looking for a kitchen remodel, you might find a contractor who specializes in that. If there’s a specific style you’re going for, you might find a portfolio of work that catches your eye. It’s also important so that you can get on the same page when you do reach out to a contractor. They’re going to give you an estimate based on what it is you want them to do. So, while they will advise you and tell you what’s feasible, it’s important that you’re clear about your expectations from the start.
Give Yourself Options
Remember, you don’t have to settle for the first person you call. Getting bids from several contractors can help you find the right person for the job. From budget to personal understanding and trust, there are many factors that homeowners are weighing when it comes to hiring a contractor, and talking to several different professionals can help you confirm you’ve really found the right fit.
Have you worked with a contractor recently? Do you have any advice based on your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts!