Hiring a home improvement contractor can be a painful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. The construction and home improvement industry does not operate with the same standards of quality assurance you find when dealing with other types of purchases. How do you know you are hiring a reliable contractor when shopping for home improvement investments? There are a few good practices you can apply to your buying strategy that may help you ask the right questions to determine the professionalism of the contractors you are interviewing.
Top 5 Questions to Consider
- How much will the service cost? Make sure to compare the price with the industry average and know the specifics of what is included for that price.
- How long will the project take to complete? The contractor should be able to give you reasonable estimates on start and finish dates for your project.
- Who will be doing the work? Big jobs require a team. Make sure you are not contracting the local handy-man to take on building an edition single handedly. Ask about the qualifications of the workers to ensure they are experienced in the specific field of home improvement you need.
- Have other customers had a positive experience? Ask the contractor to share reviews and references. The company will speak highly of themselves to win your business, but what do their previous customers say?
- Is the work warrantied? The best value for your investment comes with a comprehensive warranty that protects the buyer. If the contracted work does not come with a reasonable warranty, the investment is a gamble. Professional and upstanding companies will offer an attractive warranty to show how confident they are in their products and services. The warranty backs their word with a documented guarantee.
Where do I start?
Thanks to the wealth of useful information on the internet, buyers have plenty of resources to rely on when researching a home remodeling purchase. The web is a great starting point that will help provide ideas, suggest solutions, and refer companies. Perusing a company website is an easy way to gather general information about their services. Look for companies that have user friendly websites. To summarize, they site should have lots of pictures and transparent information about their services. Online researching has become the modern day window shopping; before engaging in a conversation with their sales representatives, you can browse over their offerings.
Comparing the Competition
Try to narrow your search down to no more than 3 companies. You want to make sure you compare at least 2 as a way to validate your decision. This step is easy. Just use the 5 questions we suggested and compare the answers of each company. If they answer similarly, you may have to dig deeper. Reading between the lines can be tricky. Use specific questions that will drive specific answers. If a company provides vague answers, chances are they are not proud of the real answer.
Your actions as a buyer will directly influence the negotiation exchange with the company. Take time to understand the information you gather by web browsing and use those tools to communicate in specific terms with the sales personnel you call. You don’t have to be an expert, but a general knowledge of your needs will allow you to ask better questions. To summarize, buyers rely on transparency from the companies they interview. We suggest having a pad and pen handy while receiving an estimate to document all verbal exchange.
For more information on contracting home remodeling work, check out What to Expect from Home Remodeling Contractors.