Whether you’re considering a home renovation or improvement project, or simply fixing a leaky faucet, finding a trustworthy and quality contractor can make the difference in a well-done project and a total home-ownership nightmare.
A solid vetting process, the right questions, a few references from friends, and some behind the scenes research can help you find the right person or company for the job.
What exactly should you be looking for when searching for a home contractor?
Do they have the right insurance, licenses, and certifications?
Though requirements may vary by state, most contractors should have licensing. Ask the contractor – and any subcontractors – for a copy of their licenses.
Do they specialize in the work you’d like to have done?
Your neighbor had their bathroom redone and had a wonderful experience with the contractor. But if you’re looking for a basement renovation, perhaps this bathroom guy isn’t right for the job.
Do they have satisfied customers?
If you didn’t find the contractor through friends, relatives, or coworkers, make sure you’re doing a little digging to make sure their work is validated by real people. Online reviews are helpful, but can sometimes be skewed. Typically, those who leave online reviews are either very happy or very disappointed with their service, so finding those who fall right in the middle of the road might be your best bet to get honest feedback.
Are they throwing up red flags?
Many scam artists pose as contractors, taking advantage of homeowners who might be unfamiliar with the process. If the company pressures you for a quick decision, only accepts cash, wants to cut any corners (materials, permits, etc.) or doesn’t walk through the entire job with you before offering an estimate, these are typically bad signs.
Is everything in writing?
A great rule of thumb is making sure that all of the details of the job are in writing. From start and end dates and materials, to which areas of the home contractors have access to (and when), it’s important that both parties are (literally) on the same page.
Choosing a contractor isn’t just about getting a low price. Remember that you get what you pay for, and if a price seems too low, it’s probably too good to be true. Do your research, ask for recommendations, and go with your gut.
Don’t want to deal with it all? Try a home warranty.
At IGS, our home warranty contracting partners are paid to do the job right.
When you’re an IGS Home Warranty customer, we do the contractor search for you. Our home warranty plans protect your inside and outside utility lines, wires, and pipes, as well as your HVAC systems. When something fails, we’ll send one of our trusted and specialized contractors to investigate your issue, cover the cost of the service call, pay for the covered repairs or replacements, and guarantee repairs for a full year.
Our home warranty contracting partners must comply with any law or regulation governing their trade. They must also maintain appropriate levels of insurance, provide proof of state or local licensing, have enough staff to be able to complete service in a timely manner, and be able to perform services per their agreement. We make sure these boxes are all checked so you can feel confident in the work being performed.