As a homeowner, there’s some information you need to know about the home improvement business. More precisely, on how to hire someone to do home improvement services. You probably already have the basics such as asking for budgets, or talking to previous customers, but you also need the don’ts of hiring a contractor.
Some examples of questions to ask when hiring a contractor could be:
- Have you done similar projects (and can I see the results)?
- Can you provide a list of references?
Surely, there’s much more to ask than these simple examples and you’ll learn more as you go. Meanwhile, here’s a list of mistakes to avoid when hiring a pro!
“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” - George Bernard Shaw
Lack of Communication
It can be tough to have clear communication with home contractors, but if you're hiring an honest person, you'll have no trouble asking questions and getting straightforward answers.
More than that:
It can happen that a contractor doesn’t add the supplies and materials he or she will need for the project in your budget, so make sure to ask for that before closing a deal.
Delay Check Up When an Issue Comes Up
The right thing to do is to call someone to check up on the issue ASAP. Otherwise, it’s possible that a minor, simple problem could become a big (and costly) headache - when an area of your home is damaged, find the cause and fix it right away!
DIYing Big Projects
Of course, we all love a good DIY project, and most of the time we love encouraging you guys to try them (and trying ourselves too).
There are times you should hire a professional instead, mainly for big projects like drywall repair, deck building, and room additions. The tip is: whenever you're in doubt if you can nail the DIY in question or not, hire a pro!
There are times when you’ll have a contractor knock on your door while he’s working on a neighbor’s house and say he can cut down your tree for a certain price or redo your siding. While most door-to-door sellers are legitimate contractors, you can never be 100% sure. If someone knocks on your door and you’re interested in the offer, always get a business card and do some thorough research on the company.
Hiring Before Knowing the Actual Problem
Much like delaying to contact someone when an issue comes along, hiring someone before diagnosing the problem can also be a bad decision. That could be because:
- It turns out to be much more expensive than you thought
- The issues can't be fixed by the person you hired (or not properly fixed)
Make sure to have a contractor show and explain you what's wrong and ask for recommendations on how best to address the cause.
Keep in mind:
There are occasions where the contractor may not be able to see something that needs to be repaired until the project has already begun (such as pipes in walls that need to be replaced). A good contractor will always tell you about the problem as soon as it arises and give you different options for solutions.
Not Doing Your Research
Sometimes you may be tempted to hire the nearest contractor, or even that one you heard about that one time your friend hired someone. Don't be afraid of looking for services outside your zone, keep in mind that most contractors are willing to provide bids and travel to your area, especially if you're hiring for a large project! That’s why requesting a quote it’s a good idea.
Not Explaining Exactly What You Need
Sure, for a plumbing repair or a roofing installation there’s not much to explain there. But if you’re hiring someone for a new room addition, or to paint your walls, a handyman to hang paintings, landscape design, etc., the best chance of you having the results you want is to explain the best way you can to the contractor what you actually want.
Contractors want you to have the outcome you wish for, so they’ll be patient to listen to you, take notes, draw with you more details.
Ready to hire your contractor already? Call today to get a free estimate!
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