By Bill Prudehome
You have decided on a home renovation or remodel project and for whatever reasons, you are not prepared to undertake the construction on your own. You now have to enter the realm of the unknown and identify a reputable contractor.
Identifying contractors is relatively easy, classified sections of major and local newspapers and the yellow pages will yield hundreds of names. However, finding a “reputable” contractor, someone that you can trust to complete the project according to the schedule, within the budget, work safely and provide a quality finished project may be a lot harder.
There are some obvious ways to try to identify reputable contractors:
- Talk to your neighbors, it is usually quite obvious if someone has had a contractor work for them recently – you have seen the contractors trucks parked on the street and driveways.
- If you have a local hardware store, not a big box retailer, talk to the owner and ask if he can supply some recommendations. He wants your future business so it is unlikely that he will recommend someone that he knows is not reputable.
- The big box retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes provide contractor services for most home renovation and remodel projects, from installing wall to wall carpeting, kitchen and bathroom fixtures and cabinets to roofing and everything in between. The services are sub-contracted to local contractors who must pass certain requirements with respect to licensing and insurance. Your contract is with the big box retailer, who has a long-term vested interest in making sure you are a satisfied customer, not the sub-contractor. Usually the big box retailers are somewhat more expensive than a non affiliated contractor, primarily because there are two levels of profit, the contractor and the retailer.
- If it is a major project you can ask your bank manager. Bankers are always lending funds for home renovation and remodel projects and they will be aware of problem contractors.
For more detailed information on finding and qualifying a contractor click on the links following this article.