So, you have decided to hire a contractor to undertake your home improvement project right? That is a wise
decision. Too many homeowners suffer unnecessary damage through their do-it-yourself antics. However, you
will need to make another wise decision if you want to have the best possible outcome from your home
improvement project - choose the right contractor.
This is someone you are going to have in your home, tearing down things and rebuilding. There may be times
when the contractor will be alone in the house, or it will be just the two of you. You want someone you can trust
and you want someone qualified. Here are a few simple tips that will help you tell the good eggs from the bad
If you wanted an amateur to do your repairs then you would have done it yourself and save the extra money. Hiring
a contractor means, you want someone with the relevant knowledge in how to carry out the project exactly. Having
the relevant license is usually a good way to tell. The city must have specific levels of competency they expect and
if they have licensed the contractor then it means they found those competencies in them, that is a good thing.
Always ask your contractor for the relevant documentation and if possible set aside some time to watch them
work. It is pretty easy to tell a professional from an amateur. If he takes the same amount of time that you would to
figure out what is causing a particular problem in your house, then he is probably an amateur.
A good contractor will be able to give you a list of references of people he has worked for before because he is
sure their report about him will be good. Dubious contractors who use poor materials and do a terrible job would
not be so confident. You should make a point of contacting one or two of them just to make sure though, some
contractors know that the homeowner would probably not take the time to check with the references.
While it is true that there are a couple of newbies out there who may be highly qualified and trustworthy, you might
not want to spend a whole load of your money experimenting with them. A contractor with many years of
experience under his belt will probably be able to get the job done better, and the fact that he has been around for
so long says something about his work ethic.
If you want to take your chances with a new contractor, then start small. Give them the less important tasks first
and test them before you can proceed to giving them the whole project. Most new contractors are wise enough to
work as apprentices under more established ones before they step out on their own.
You will need a committed contractor if you are going to have a successful home improvement project. You need
one who can understand exactly what you want done and gets passionate and excited about the project.
Contractors who will not come round to your house to do their own survey before agreeing to do the job are clearly
not committed from the onset. There is some information that is impossible to get over the phone.
A contractor who is always late for appointments or misses them altogether is also uncommitted. While it is
understandable that we all experience emergencies at one point or the other and have to cancel important
appointments, it does not happen every day. You can get such information from the references if you ask the right
Always go with your gut feeling in such matters. Your contractor as we have previously seen is someone you will
allow into your home, someone you will be in close contact with the whole duration of the project. Even if
everything about them appears perfect, if something within you does not click with them, then do not force it. Find a
contractor you can relate to easily, one you can ask all the questions you may have, and who will answer you
appropriately while considering your specific needs.