6 Steps for Choosing a Contractor
Talk to anyone who’s had work done on their home. They’ll tell you to
do your research and choose your contractor carefully. Here are six
steps to walk you through the process.
Step 1: Seek Counsel
Compile a list of contractors after talking with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Association of Homebuilders.
Step 2: Interview the Contractors
Ask questions such as:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you take on projects this size? (Ask for examples of three previous clients.)
- What other projects will you be working on at the same time?
- Will you be subcontracting the work and, if so, how will you oversee their work?
Step 3: Recon
After you have a short list of contractors:
- Check them out on Yelp and other review sites.
- Look them up with the Better Business Bureau.
- Call the contractors’ previous clients to hear about their level of satisfaction.
- Visit their current job sites.
Step 4: Money Talk
After the contractors listen to your plans, ask for bids that include cost of materials, labor and their profit margins.
Step 5: Project Schedule
Ask contractors to estimate completion dates for major milestones and
the final completion date. Ask for a payment schedule that is contingent
on those completion dates.
Step 6: Make Your Choice
If possible, don’t simply choose the lowest bidder. See how each
contractor measures up in the above areas. Remember to ask for a
contract that details the payments, schedule and their personal
liability, workers' compensation and property damage insurance