How to Find the Right Contractor for your Home
Everybody is looking for that special someone; the one who’ll make their dreams come true. This is just as true for the building and remodeling world as it is for romance. Finding the right contractor for your home project can be a daunting task, but putting some effort into choosing a contractor can save you from having your dream home turn into a nightmare. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes time to look for Mr. Right:
Look for Recommendations – Talking to family and friends who’ve had the same type of work done is a great place to start. For one, they’re not likely to recommend a contractor that did poor work. You also have the ability to ask them questions about how the contractor worked, and maybe most importantly, you can actually see the quality of the work firsthand. Online review sites like Google+ Local, Yelp!, and Yahoo Local Listings are excellent resources for seeing what people have to say about a contracting company. If you find that a lot of reviews keep bringing up the same issue, that might be a sign to look for a different contractor. Finally, The Better Business Bureau (BBB) keeps profiles of local businesses, including a rating between A+ and F based on many factors, including how many complaints have been filed against the company. Using a combination of these resources, you should be able to put together a nice list of potential contractors.
Shop Around – After you’ve done some digging through reviews and looking for recommendations, then it’s a good time to start looking for quotes. Don’t just seek out a price from one contractor; take the time to talk to multiple companies and compare bids. Get each contractor to survey your home or project site, as they won’t be able to give you a very accurate estimate without seeing it for themselves; be wary of a contractor who will quote you a price without a consultation first. Also, make sure they give you a written breakdown of the total cost including the cost of materials and labor. This will allow you to compare quotes as best as you can.
Don’t Cheap Out – When it comes to building or remodeling work, you get what you pay for. It might be a cliche, but it’s definitely true. If you get bids from many companies, they should be pretty much around the same price. If a bid is way below the rest for the same job, you may want to ask yourself: why is it so much lower? It may be that the contractor uses cheaper materials or cuts corners in some other way. Everyone wants to save money, but choosing a contractor just for the low price is sure to leave you with poor quality work, an unfinished job, or any number of other headaches.
Check for licensing and insurance – Nearly every state requires some sort of license for building contractors, and Wisconsin is no different. Licensing can often be verified online, or through government organizations, like Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services. When you go to hire a contractor, you’ll also want to make sure that they are insured. It’s required by law that any contractor in Wisconsin carries workmen’s
compensation insurance, to cover their employees if they are injured on the job. But it’s also important to make sure the company has general liability insurance, to cover any damages to your property. If you hire an uninsured contractor, you could get stuck with paying for any damage they might cause. Like licensing, it’s a good idea to verify their insurance coverage. Ask to see a certificate of insurance and check with their provider.
So, be patient and do your research. Once you’ve got these bases covered, you should be well on your way to finding the right contractor for your job!
At AHT, we’ve always prided ourselves on being a window contractor with integrity; where the quality of our work and the satisfaction of our customers is most important. Along with maintaining our licenses and insurance, we are members of a number of professional organizations like the NARI, and hold an A+ Rating with the Wisconsin BBB.