Choosing the right contractor is a critical first step in planning out any project. Here's our checklist for the most important dos and don'ts you should consider when hiring your next contractor.
Get competitive bids
Plan to gather at least three estimates from various contractors before you make a decision. More quotes will give you a clearer picture of how these companies stack up against each other. Not only will you get more perspective on appropriate costs, but also you'll get an idea of the scope of work that each contractor will provide.
Don't take the lowest bid offered.
Many people are rightfully tempted to hire the contractor with the lowest bid, but experts advise against this. The cheapest professional might be offering the best deal, but they also might source inferior supplies or commonly experience project delays. Instead, split the difference and hire the contractor who bids the median price, provided you also feel comfortable working with that choice.
Ask for proof of insurance, license and bond, certifications etc.
Only hire contractors who have proper credentials in order to protect yourself, your property and your finances. It’s not enough to ask and take the contractor’s word for it, either. Be sure and ask for written proof of insurance, licensure and bonding before hiring the professional. This further ensures the contractor is trustworthy and qualified.
Don't Pay Up-Front.
It's best not to pay for the entire project before it is completed. Make sure you make checks payable to a company, not an individual, and do not pay in cash. For larger projects, it is standard practice to pay one-third of the estimated costs as an initial payment. That way, you can retain your cashed check as a receipt.
Establish boundaries for the job site.
Let the company know you expect routine precautions, such as employee background checks for anyone who will have access to your home. Also, establish some ground rules about parking, bathroom use, smoking, and other issues that might concern you during the project.
Don't put up with pressure and scare tactics.
Never be pressured into making an immediate decision, particularly with regard to signing a contract. Steer clear of any individuals/businesses who use scare tactics to try and convince you to hire them. If there truly is a serious issue, a quality contractor will explain the situation in a transparent and honest way.
Go with your gut.
You’ll be working with your contractor often, so follow your instincts when it’s time to make a decision. Even if they have the right references, licenses, and insurance, they might not fit with you personally. If that’s the case, continue your search until you find someone who checks off all your boxes. At the end of the day, it’s your money and you deserve to be happy with what you get.
Protect yourself by hiring someone who demonstrates that they’re well worth the investment, like our team at Refined Restoration! We offer high-quality services and a team of already-vetted contractors ready to take on whatever emergency you are facing! Contact Refined Restoration today for your 24/7 commercial and residential emergency services!