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The Builder's Blog

How to Hire a Contractor

Carpentry Contractors working

IMAGE: CREW WORKING

Carpentry crew working on the job site.

Hiring Contractors

Things you should know and use to your advantage when hiring a contractor. Also, a guide on how to not get scammed when working with unknown contractors.

"DO YOUR HOMEWORK"

Familiarize yourself

Whatever you do, make sure that you research the project you are trying to accomplish first. It helps with the entire process from start to finish. Get familiar with the general processes of the project, so that you can be prepared for the “mess”, “the time”, the “cost”, and “the demolition” of your existing stuff!

Know What You WANT

There’s nothing more irritating than someone who is trying to use your services, but they have no idea what they want or need. If a contractor feels that you are going to be difficult to work with, they may decline the work or charge you a lot more than they would a typical customer.

Pick Colors, Materials, and Trim Ahead of hiring

To save time make sure you pick out the paint colors, the materials you want to build with, and how things need to look when finished. More specifically I’m talking about paint, tile, masonry, wood, etc. Do this first, and you’ll have a much lower chance of scaring away your potential contractor.

Business reviews are important

"SEARCH FOR REVIEWS"

The best review sites to find contractors

Basically, you have to do a business background check on the contractors you are interested in hiring. The best websites to find contractor information and to read reviews left by customers would have to be Google local listings, Facebook, Thumbtack, Porch, Houzz, BBB, and Angie’s List.

Only a Few Reviews?

The companies listed above are all reputable companies that will give you lots of information about the contractors and also feature a review score as well. If someone has 1-3 reviews, take those with a grain of salt as they may be family members or friends trying to help out.

Comb through the comments

Read the review comments meticulously. They will usually give you some direction as to whether this company is one you want to hire or not.

3

"GET MULTIPLE QUOTES"

IS ONE QUOTE ENOUGH?

Never agree to hire someone for construction projects without getting three quotes first. It helps you weed out the over-promisers and the over-chargers. After all, how would you know if your getting a good deal unless you get quotes from different companies? 

HOW BAD DO THEY WANT YOUR BUSINESS?

Usually, you will get to meet or at least talk to the contractor in the “getting quotes” or planning stage of your project. How far they will go for you at this point says a lot about the company overall.

If they won’t even come out to your house to look at your project but they still give you a bid, it is more than likely way higher than the bid should be.

Beware, some contractors like to add “extra” line items to invoices that are actually “required” they just didn’t put it in the bid so their price looked lower initially.

You’ve been warned! Ask what kind of extras are typical for your project. This question usually gets the contractor in line pretty quick!

“Land really is the best art.”

ANDY WARHOL

Ready to hire?

Go out and hire the right crew for the job.

I hope at least a few of the points I mentioned in the article will help you to find a reputable contractor, that will do outstanding work for you. Do not get in a rush to hire someone. If you do your homework and get three quotes you will be fine!

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