Most of us when we start a home remodeling project hire a contractor. However have you thought about what questions you need to ask BEFORE you hire someone? A failure to ask the right questions could cause you to hire the wrong person, get someone who leaves you high and dry, or even steals all your money…
So what are the main considerations when selecting and hiring home repair contractors?
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- How much will the job cost?
- Is this person qualified?
- Should I use one contractor, or hire several specialists?
- Is a firm environmentally friendly?
- Does this firm hire contractors or assign company personnel to each job?
You might choose to hire a single company who employs a project manager to coordinate everyone working on your home if repairs are extensive. This saves you having to deal with a variety of companies. This also means you will have one very large bill to pay in the end or over time.
On the other hand, if you know that a particular company does great masonry work and you want to work with them especially, it might be better to break various repair jobs into small parts. These could include re-cladding exterior walls, replacing broken plumbing, or putting in new windows in place of ones which took the weight of a falling tree during a wind storm.
The best way to find out if a firm is any good is to get several references. What other people say is important to you. Acquire the phone numbers and names of three recent clients from each contractor you are thinking of hiring. Ask detailed questions of the previous customers, such as how respectful their home repair contractors were around their property. Was their work done in a timely fashion? Were there any hassles, such as sudden extra costs not covered in the contract?
State government websites post their own items of advice for prospective home repair clients, posting important points to think about. All legitimate contractors are licensed and carry liability insurance to protect you and them financially. Even after you have assured yourself of these points, delve more deeply if the repair is not urgent. Is a company registered with the BBB? Have there been complaints lodged with the Attorney General or Consumer Affairs? (Mass.gov). Look for any evidence of unsafe workmanship, fraud, etc. If nothing bad shows up, then what about the price?
In this depressed economy you should be able to bargain a good deal out of a company. This is less likely, however, if you plan to deal with a firm that uses only environmentally friendly products, recycles every possible material (which can amount to almost everything removed from your home), and uses other environmentally friendly practices. These are specialist companies which have found their niche. Still, it is worth getting a few prices and seeing how eager each contractor is to perform your repairs.
This is all great advice until you need to hire home repair contractors in an emergency. You might not have time to perform extensive background checks and talk a contractor down to a lower price. What you really need to know are the essential points who can you trust? Testimonials posted on contractors’ websites are not always reliable because they are only positive. Stick with the basics what do they charge, are they affiliated with the BBB, do they have a license, and are they insured. If a firm is experienced with your particular issue (electrical, plumbing, roofing), then you are on the right track.