When embarking on a home improvement project, the most crucial aspect you want to get right is finding a trustworthy home improvement contractor. The contractor you select can make or break your experience, so it is vital you get it right from the start. However, there are countless home improvement contractors out there – so how do you know where to start or what to look for? It is true inviting a stranger into your home and asking them to make major changes is a big exercise in trust, which is why you need to find someone reliable and who will get the job done. To help you choose a home improvement contractor that is trustworthy and will exceed your home improvement expectations, WoW has compiled this list of five essential qualities to look for in a home improvement contractor.
1. Choose someone local
When looking for a trustworthy home improvement contractor, it is best to find someone in your local area. Why? The benefit of choosing someone local is local contractors live in the community with their clients. This means if they carry out poor work, word will spread, and no home improvement contractor wants a bad reputation in their community.
2. Look at their past work
The second thing to look for when choosing a home improvement contractor is their portfolio. If a home improvement contractor cannot show samples of their work, take this as a warning and steer clear. You need to make sure the contractor you are hiring has a high standard of workmanship. Ask to see pictures from previous projects. It does not matter if it is an online portfolio or a hard copy, they should have a way for you to view previous projects.
3. Ask for references and read online references
Looking at their portfolio is the first step, and asking for references is the next. While pictures of past work are important, so are good references. You want to be confident that the home improvement contractor you choose performs the best work for all of their clients. How do you find out? You can ask the contractor for some written references, or you can head to online third party review sites such as; Angie’s List, Yelp! and Houzz. These sites allow past clients to rate their experiences, and share comments, so you know what you are reading is straight from the horse's mouth.
4. Really understand what you are paying for
Another important quality you want to look for in a home improvement contractor is someone who is upfront about costs. Some contractors may not include everything in their initial price, this can leave unsuspecting homeowners out of pocket and can be a major financial headache if the final tally is out of your budget. So it is important to get clear on what is, and what is not, included so you have a good understanding of the final cost. When seeking estimates always ask for an itemized quotation, and if it is an estimate or fixed price.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Finally, a trustworthy home improvement contractor is someone who you can communicate with easily. This means giving you a fair and accurate quote, returning all of your phone calls, and sticking to the timeframe as best as they can. Or, if something goes amiss, they are upfront with you from the beginning and discuss with you all of your options. If a home improvement contractor does not communicate well, this is a major red flag. Here are a few ways to keep the lines of communication open between you and your contractor:
- Ask about the contractor’s process
- Find out who will be your point of contact
- Talk about how frequently your point of contact will be in touch
- Find out how they will contact you (phone call, text, email)