You might be tempted to be the “everyman” for your property. And if you only own a couple homes, maybe you can be. It isn’t too difficult to drop everything and go fix a window or check out a safety concern when your to-do list for the day is small. But it’s a different story when you own multiple properties. Being handy with a toolbox isn’t enough – you need to hire a professional. But how do you pick someone you can trust? Check out our seven tips for choosing a contractor to work on your home:
1. Available Contractor Does Not Equal Good Contractor
If you have a pressing repair needed on a property, you might be tempted to pick the person who is free the soonest. But the truth is you should expect the good contractors to be the busy ones. Don’t be afraid to wait for the right fit, especially if hiring for a recurring service.
2. Have a Plan
Don’t be tempted to ask the contractors to make a renovation/repair plan for you. It’s going to be harder to compare contractors this way, and you could get talked into more than you need. Make sure to have a detailed idea of not only the work you want done, but a timeline and materials before you even pick up the phone.
3. Don’t Stop At The First Interview
A good rule of thumb is to interview three candidates. Even if you still go with the first candidate, every interview is a learning experience. It might seem like a time suck- but you’ll better understand how the bidding system work and how to negotiate a contract. Plus, you’ll know with certainty you picked the best person for the job.
4. Ask For Work Samples:
References are great. But just because a previous client says they did a fantastic job, does not mean the work will fit your specific needs and vision. To really judge the quality of a contractor’s work – you need to see it. Ideally they will have something similar to the style of your project. Ask for photos or even to see work in person
5. Check Licenses and Insurance Info
Skipping out on someone with an official license might seem like a way to cut costs. But you are taking a huge risk. A license proves credibility because the contractor needs to take an exam over processes and codes related to building. Same with insurance. If something goes wrong and a nearby property is effected, you don’t want to foot the bill.
6. Ask for an itemized bid
This tip ties back into number 2. Every contractor will give you a quote. But if you can get it, an itemized bid is better. With this you can see what each part of the job costs individually, so if you decide to remove or replace it, you can be better prepared for the price change.
7. Find Out Their Suppliers
A unique reference perspective for your contractor is actually their suppliers. Be sure to check out their websites and judge the quality of the materials going into your project. It’s also chance to ask about the contractor’s work ethic and track record from someone with a different viewpoint.
Finding the right contractor can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never hired out before. You are trusting someone else with your property, and might feel pressure from tenants if it’s an immediate need. RENU has a trusted network of contractors. If you need help, call us today.