You have spent years looking at that old, tired bathroom. You knew that you wanted to change things about the kitchen when you moved into your house. Your family is growing and you need more space to live comfortably. These are just a few of the most popular reasons that people use for renovating their houses. Renovations can be anything from a new coat of paint and decorations or a complete gut and remodel of the entire space.
Wherever you fit in that equation, there are some very important things to consider before you get started with your renovation. While most people begin their home improvement dreams with paint swatches and glossy magazines, there is a much less glamorous decision that you need to make first: who will your contractor be?
I know what you’re thinking… but I don’t want to worry about that; I want to talk about paint colors! There will be plenty of time for that, but first you have to decide who you are going to trust to come into your home and redo it.
Contractors in general have a bad reputation, not because they are all bad, but because so many people get swindled by someone who is unqualified to complete their job. When renovating your home, the overall budget can be overwhelming. With large projects it is easy to panic about the numbers. And most people compensate for the high budget costs by skimping on hiring a contractor. While this may look pretty on your balance sheet, it won’t take you long to notice the problems with this.
Finding a good contractor is not as hard as you might imagine. First, do some research. Determine what kind of project you are going to undertake and then find a contractor who is experienced with that kind of work. Ask people who have used the contractor you are looking to hire what their experiences were like. Check out testimonials, previous work photos and websites to get an idea of how professional your contractor is.
Second, make sure that the contractor that you hire is licensed and insured, so that you are not at risk if something should go wrong during your renovation. The last thing that you need to have happen is to hire someone who may become a liability if something happens. Ensure your own peace of mind by hiring a licensed contractor.
Third, ask for references or testimonials. Any contractor worth their weight should be able to easily provide you with happy customers and success stories. If a contractor is new to the business and asks you to give them a chance without prior testimonials, think long and hard before agreeing.
Hiring a contractor for home improvement is not a complicated process when you use common sense and a little leg work. But it can protect you from disastrous, financially devastating things happening down the road. Your home is not the place to experiment with someone’s abilities. Hire a contractor that you are confident can complete your job to your expectations.