Selecting the Right Contractor
March 5, 2019
Most of us are not professional electricians, plumbers or home contractors. That’s why we rely on finding qualified people to fill these roles when we want work done in our homes. It won’t take long to find the name of a contractor, but how do you pick the right one? Here are a few tips on how to make the selection process a little easier.
Ask for a recommendation
You can always look to see if a contractor has a good score on Yelp when trying to choose someone for a job, but old-fashioned word-of-mouth might carry more clout. People love to talk about their experiences, either good or bad. Ask family and friends for the names of any contractors that they’ve had a great experience with. Make sure to ask lots of questions, and see if they have any before and after photos that you can look at.
Research all potential contractors
So, you’ve been given the names of a few contractors to consider. Now what? Find out what you can about them. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do they have a website?
- Have they been the focus of a news story?
- Do they have any before and after pictures of projects they’ve worked on?
- Are they licensed?
- How long have they been in business?
- How large is their team?
Do a little homework and find out everything you can about any contractor that you’re considering. Try and use someone local if possible. It’s great to help contractors in your area and will also help you save on potential travel costs when it’s time to pay the final bill.
After you’ve narrowed down the field to a few, have them come give an estimate of how much the job will cost and how long it will take. This estimate should be free.
While they come to conduct the estimate, get a feel for them. Are they personable, friendly and knowledgeable? Can they answer all your questions? Are they interested in and excited about your project?
You may be spending days or weeks with their team in your home. Trust your gut feeling.
Check their credentials
Once you’ve made your selection, ask for references (and check them). Also, make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured. These things are incredibly important. They should be able to provide proof of all these credentials BEFORE they start any work on your home.
Specializing in your project type
Not that there is anything wrong with a general contractor, but depending on the job type, you might want to find a contractor who specializes in the type of project that you need done. A professional in the project field will be able to do the best job possible and know how to deal with any potential problem that may arise.
Have a detailed contract in place before any work starts
Make sure a detailed contract is in place before any work begins. This contract should include all costs, such as supplies and labour, all work that is being done, start and end dates for the project, any drawings or written specifications being used and any other information that you believe is important. There can never be too much information in this contract.
Go over some guidelines
Are you giving the contractor a key to your home? Are you leaving a garage door unlocked? Are they allowed to work in your home when no one is there? These are all things that should be discussed before the project gets started. This is also the perfect time to express any concerns or special instructions that you may have.
Know your role
You have a job in this partnership as well. Make sure you’re checking out the work as it is going on and ask for status reports on a regular basis. This shows the contractor that you’re keeping an eye on the project and that you’re involved.
After the project is completed, make sure the job meets all requirements that were stated in the contract, pay them in a timely fashion and give them a review on Yelp or any other referral sites that they may be on.
Fusion Stone is designed as suitable for DIY but there are plenty of homeowners who simply don’t have the time or interest in doing it themselves. Let us know if you’re looking for a contractor with experience installing Fusion Stone.