“Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the best ways to find a contractor,”
“Don’t be afraid to shop around,”Ray suggests. Pick out a few contractors who seem reliable, meet with them for an interview, and don’t forget to ask for references and free estimates. “You want to feel comfortable with your contractor, so find someone you connect with,” states Ray. “And don’t always go for the lowest price bid—there could be hidden costs, underpaid workers or shoddy building materials.” Compare prices—if one company is a great deal lower, it may be best to drop them.
Ask the Right Questions
When talking to a potential contractor, it’s important to ask questions that might not come up organically in conversation, says Ray. Some of these include queries about how long they have been in business; who will be working on-site, including any sub-contractors and supervisors;
Look for a License
If you find a contractor who looks promising, check out the state licensing board to make sure their business is licensed, and that they have a clean record. If complaints have been filed against them, that doesn’t automatically mean they are bad news. Check out how they were resolved. “The Better Business Bureau will most likely have any complaints that have been filed, and will tell you how the contractor responded to them,” suggests Ray.
Often contractors are required to have property damage, personal liability insurance and workers’ compensation. “If your contractor doesn’t have worker’s comp, you could be held responsible for any on-the-job or work-related injury,” cautions Ray. Ask for proof of insurance and verify with the company before making a hire.
“If a contractor makes you feel pressured, fails to provide any references, only accepts cash payment, or demands the entire payment upfront, they probably are unreliable and may be roping you into a scam,” says Ray. Hiring a contractor for even a minor remodeling project is a big deal—make sure you are 100 percent comfortable with your choice before signing any agreements.
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Established in 1995, CBPP is a full-service real estate firm with 100 + sales agents strategically dispersed among its office locations stretching from South Carolina through Georgia. For more information visit www.MyCbpp.com.