What Homeowners Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor


Okay, so you’re in a pickle. You’ve got this huge idea planned for a new wing on the house and your spouse is down. You know it’ll be an extra bedroom, a full extra bathroom, and a small den with a small storage area attached. But what now?

You try to do the DIY route of doing-it-yourself. You’ve watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos on laying a foundation and read all of the books everyone says to read about drywall. It can’t be too hard, right? Well, the joke’s on you because construction is an extremely detail-oriented and technical skill that simply cannot be mastered in this manner.

If you’re anything like me, you get ahead of yourself very quickly with big ideas. Thankfully, there’s a person out there who’s got your back and knows you’re in way over your head. That person is your friendly neighborhood contractor. They’re in short supply these days, so how does one go about finding one?

Here are the four things I think you should know before making your decision hiring a contractor for your next project at work or home. It’s a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. A lot goes into a construction project and you want to make sure you have the right partner the whole way through.


4 Things to Know:

1.    Details

First and foremost, you’re going to need the most basic details of the intended project for your home. You’ll need things like ground surveys, property line maps, underground utility infrastructure information, and the like.

Outside of that, you’re going to need to know what your project is actually going to look like. Do you want shingles? Siding? Do you want a roof on your new addition or do you want a neat little walk-up roof with a railing around it, perfect for stargazing with friends! That’s what I’d do, for sure.

The last detail you’ll need to know is if your ideas are even possible. You’ll need a certified architect to draft something for you to ensure the safety and protocol-passing standards of your new construction.

2.    Budget

Be realistic with your budget. Of course, there’s always a little wiggle room when it comes to the final cost, however you need to be up front and honest with your contractor in order to ensure a successful working relationship, but also somewhat eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit.

You may have no idea what your ideas are going to cost. Some companies’ websites like https://www.contractorbond.org/ can give you a quote right away effectively eliminating any need to worry over the subject. Budget calculators, in general, or relatively easy to find on Google from a wide array of financial institutions.

3.    Options

Like any large purchase, one shouldn’t jump at the first contractor they meet. Take your time and look through several options, considering all of them, before actually putting money into someone’s pocket.

Let’s just say there’s a world of options on the internet. Before you hire a contractor, you’ll want to research exactly what companies are available in your area, how much they typically cost, and if their clientele has been happy with the work they’ve performed.

4.    Reviews

Homeowners have a lot to worry about when it comes to adding onto their homes or updating existing structures or rooms. There’re permits, homeowner’s association laws and feed, property taxes, new utilities, etc. The last thing they should have to worry about is their choice of contractors.

Thankfully the internet has a plethora of resources to search for reliable reviews. Businesses have official pages on websites such as Google, Yelp, and Yellowpages where many visitors rate their experience (typically out of five stars) and occasionally offer a brief description of their experience with that company. If you’re looking for a private contractor, you may have some luck searching on social media in your area for appropriate hash tags.

One should always read over the reviews in their entirety. If the business doesn’t have any, that’s typically a pretty big red flag. If no one has said they’ve worked with them before, are they even a real company? Insurance scams are on the rise so proceed with caution.

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