Finding the right contractor for your home improvement project
Naturally the first advice is someone who has been recommended by a trusted source. Relatives, friends or neighbors are a good starting point. It is natural to assume that these referrals can be trusted however be sure to check how long ago the work was done. The reason for this is that over years there is turnover in a crew or the actual owner may have done the work if he had just started in the business. Lastly, it is always helpful to check a local contractor advertising directory for any clues.
Outside your immediate circle there are many places you can find a contractor so don’t pick one source. Check the local pages, BBB, licensing databases in your state, contractors own references and finally like in most aspects of life the Internet offers information on local contractors in your area via niche sites. You can also check for websites offering local contractor syndication to deliver news straight to your desktop or RSS reader. Finally the FREE estimate, since it is FREE contact at least three or four contractors for estimates this will help you in making an educated decision. If it were a smaller project probably three would suffice.
The initial meeting
All meetings personal or business meeting rely on first impressions. Your instinct comes into play here if you don’t feel right about a contractor then probably he’s not the right choice for you. Allow at least for one hour per interview and ask as many questions as you can. When they leave, check if the contractor has participated in any contractor search marketing over the web in case the individual has any ratings or reviews.
Questions you should come away with an answer after the initial meeting:
- Is the contractor or salesman presentable in appearance?
- Is he the owner, if not does he sell for many different contractors?
- Was he willing to discuss other jobs with you?
- Did you feel any pressure to buy or sign on the proverbial dotted line?
A good contractor will deliver more information than you need and in most cases your husband or wife may not be present and you will have to explain the information to them.