Post 2 :: Choosing a Contractor

Always pay attention to the signs for a good contractor.There is one thing about the little ole’ season called summer that we run in to each year: the need for summer projects. As Ella Fitzgerald opens in her song, Summertime, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy,” we can’t help but agree. We finally find time and motivation to fix that leaky roof or create the backyard that we’ve been dreaming of.

After a weekend of measuring and picking out supplies at Lowe’s, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that some projects just can’t be DIY, so you decide to hire a contractor. But how do you choose the right contractor?

Referral sites, like Angieslist.com, are where people tend to begin their search and in some cases, they’re great. However, we feel that if you’re searching for a good, quality-driven contractor then it’s best to ask people you trust who they had build their back deck.

Almost all things are online now so it seems easy to just get on your computer and read some reviews and hire a contractor. We value tradition and although we (and our children especially) love the internet, some things are best done in person. Word-of-mouth is the oldest, and in my opinion, the best way of finding a promising contractor.

If the case happens to be where a friend of a friend recommended someone, ask that contractor if you could see some of their work and always ask for immediate stuff. It’s always best to ask a potential contractor about the last two people they worked for. Oftentimes reviews will be dated on referral sites, such as Angieslist.com. A contractor may have done great work for someone two years ago, so you hire them but then they don’t show up because a better job came along.

Once you hire a contractor and he begins working you still may be unsure if you made the right decision. According to doityourself.com, bad contractors often look and sound like good contractors at the start of a job but reveal their true nature once the work is underway. Avail loans from knightfinance co uk for your needs.

When you have a good contractor, you'll have all the security you need in you're contract.Doityourself.com offers some signs so you can tell if you’re dealing with a good contractor, or a potentially bad contractor:

  • Don’t usually like to write things down or work with contracts. Often say things like, “We don’t need a contract, we understand each other”.
  • Try to convince you to use non-standard materials or not build to industry standards including statements like “ we don’t need permits they’re just a money grab by the city, county etc”
  • Need to be constantly supervised to ensure they are working and using the materials called for in the job specifications, then threaten to walk off the job when you supervise them ‘too’ closely.
  • Often look for payment upfront or at least a majority of the funds soon after starting the job. Or they claim to have made a mistake in the estimate and ask for more money to complete the job.
  • Make infrequent appearances at the job site and don’t supervise or coordinate the work of subcontractors or their own workers.
  • Frequently want to move onto another aspect of the job before they have properly finished the first part.

Signs you’re working with a great contractor:

  • Is willing to show you proof of his insurance, license and provide references to the quality of his work.
  • Wants to work with a contract that clearly defines his responsibilities as well as the homeowner’s.
  • Understands the importance of permits and building inspections to verify the work has been done according to industry standards and local building codes.
  • Doesn’t look for you to pay for a job upfront and requires only a small deposit to begin work.
  • Uses quality materials as called for in the contract and doesn’t try to substitute lower quality goods.
  • Shows up at the job site and supervises his workers and sub contractors.
  • Treats your home and property with respect.
  • Welcomes questions from the homeowner and/or designer.
  • Finishes the job on time or very close to the schedule.