Some homeowners choose to handle things themselves when they make home improvements. However, individuals with little home improvement knowledge will have to rely on outside help, but selecting a good and affordable contractor is essential. Because some contractors are shady and charge ridiculously high fees, picking the right contractor requires research. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best contractor for your next home improvement project.
Get Referrals from Family and Friends
Asking family and friends for the name of a good contractor may prove worthwhile. If a relative or acquaintance completed similar home improvements (and were satisfied with the work), using the same contractor may speed up the selection process. Trying to identify shady contractors is a difficult process. Using referrals to select a contractor will increase your chances of finding a reputable home improvement company.
Browse Contractors Listed in the Yellow Pages
If your friends and family cannot refer a good contractor, you will have to rely on the Yellow Pages and other forms of advertisement. The Yellow Pages include many listings, which makes the selection process challenging. Rule of thumb: do not hire the first contractor you contact. Instead, request information and quotes from several companies.
Get an estimate and ask how long it will take to complete the job. Each company will quote you slightly different estimates. It is tempting to choose the least-expensive contractor. However, keep in mind that more-expensive contractors may use better materials or have better reputations.
Research Contractors with the Better Business Bureau
As you begin your search for a good contractor, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your local area. If a contractor, or a company, has received any complaints from previous customers (or has otherwise developed a bad reputation), the BBB will have this information on file. While browsing options, choose one with a flawless record.
Along with researching complaints by the BBB, request references from prospective contractors. Ideally, references should be current and include customers who had similar work completed on their homes. Contact those customers to see if they were satisfied with the contractor’s work.