“You get what you pay for.” Almost every homeowner has heard this advice, but many come to this wisdom the hard way – only after facing the consequences of failing to hire a home improvement contractor.
Do you even need to hire a contractor?
Finding good contractors can be a very time-consuming task, but trying to do all the repairs yourself can lead to a lot more headaches. Even if you are a big do-it-yourselfer, consider enlisting the help of a professional at least at difficult stages of work.
Projects that are risky to implement independently:
- Something more than a minor cosmetic update such as painting the walls or replacing existing fixtures.
- A complex project that involves many design subtleties. Installing anything custom made that requires exact measurements, such as kitchen furniture.
- Any project if you are not familiar with permits and requirements of local building codes and regulations. By the way, if you are interested in the design and installation of smart home systems, we recommend that you contact professionals
When should you start looking for a contractor?
If you want to hire a contractor to do the renovation of your dreams, don’t delay your search. Don’t delay the appointment of the initial consultation: the companies with the best reputation have a schedule already packed months in advance. The process of planning and designing takes time, so you should not wait for the last moment.
Small projects usually require about a month for planning and design in addition to the actual time of work, and large-scale renovations – from three months or more. The time spent on the design of the space is as important, if not more, as on the implementation of the repair work itself, and is crucial to the final result.
Checklist for choosing a good contractor
How not to get burned? Here are the points that should be double-checked in order not to make a mistake in choosing a sacramento custom home builder:
- Branch affiliations. Check if the company is a member of local or national organizations. If a company has qualified for membership, it usually means they have a good track record of ethical behavior and quality work.
- Company structure. It is important to know who will be working at your home, and whether the organization has a project manager who will be your contact person.
- In order to legally carry out any repair work, the contractor must be registered in your city.
- Portfolio of works. If the website doesn’t have a full portfolio of work, ask for before, during and after photos of some recent projects. Make sure they have experience with a project similar to yours and can deliver results at the level of quality you expect.
- Awards and ratings. Third-party and independent rating systems allow you to distinguish a reliable company with a good reputation from a “dark horse”.
What to watch out for?
Here are some signs that a contractor is not bona fide and could be in trouble:
- Request full payment in advance. As a rule, only a deposit is required in advance.
- Any communication problems, including missed calls or emails.
- Aggressive response to negative online customer feedback.
- No contract, estimate or drawings.
- Refusal to provide warranty. Most good contractors will offer a warranty for a certain period of time.
- Any ambiguous answers to your questions.
What should be remembered when making a final decision?
You have the right to request open communication at any time and a contract that clearly spells out the estimate, terms and conditions of payment. Only hire a company that is licensed and insured.
Make sure you really trust the contractor as a partner in your project.
And finally, choose contractors you feel comfortable working with – they will work closely with you throughout the project and spend a lot of time in your home.