Home renovation has become quite the trend nowadays. It is not like the time when renovation was looked upon as big a headache as buying new property and moving to a different city. This creates a problem. For those property owners who are not in the property business it can be tricky to find the right building contractor to work with. Quite often the only way to choose one is to ask around for a recommendation. Even then it is possible that things may not work out as smoothly as you wish. So how are you to avoid a situation like that? Here are some suggestions that should help.
First off you should have a list of around 3-5 contractors handy. Do not go with one. Get as many recommendations as you can. Collect quotes from every one and compare their prices against the services and their past record. All of them should be charging somewhere close to the going market rate for the job. If someone is charging way too low then expect corner cutting and a rush job. Similarly if someone charges way too high, then you are obviously being had. A good contractor will stick to the market prices and not demand unreasonable sums.
If you are going in for a minimal renovation then make sure you do not enter into a verbal agreement. It often happens that small projects are never put to paper and this leads to arguments later on. Always get the contract on paper and signed by both parties. Verbal agreements are worthless. Make sure you understand the contract yourself and that it covers everything you want done.
Another important thing is to speak to former clients of the contractors and get their feedback as to the performance during work and how much customer satisfaction the contractor gives. By speaking to others and listening to their experience with a contractor you will be able to choose the right one. If possible you should visit some of the locations where the contractor has worked recently so that you can see the quality of their work for real instead of through pictures.
An important thing that people often overlook is to actually check the references offered. Quite often the bottom line for their decision is the cost and not the reputation of the builder. Do not engage anyone who cannot show references unless you know them personally and when references are offered call them up and either speak to them or better still try and meet them and look at the work done in their home. This is a very critical component of choosing a contractor and you should not skip or avoid it. When you are checking references you must enquire about things like quality, time taken, schedules met or missed, builder's attitude, budget control, and so on.
Another thing to check is the builder's credentials. Not all states require a builder to be licensed. Reference checking becomes even more important in those states. In the others you must make sure the builder is licensed for the work to be done. Also check the builder on the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints.
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