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What to look for in contractors.

January 16, 2017

       Do you want to avoid that horror story you hear from time-to-time, the one about the contractor who tore apart the kitchen but then took a 7-week vacation? I've listed a few key things to look for when you hunt for your next contractor. There is definitely more than what meets the eye. You want to be sure you pick the right company to do the work! Your home is one of your biggest assets, it's said that approximately 30-50% of your gross income will go towards your home in some way or another. This means that everything being done to it needs to be in your best interest! So, I hope you enjoy what I have to say!

Dependability

       There is a very high level of trust between homeowner and contractor. There will be times where you’re not home, times when you’re not looking, and times where you just don't know a lot about a given service, so you’re depending on them to tell you everything you need to know. So how can you get a feel for how dependable someone is? Before you start working with somebody, there are still many signs that can foreshadow this trait. To start, I would recommend checking them out online. Do they have a website or how about a Facebook page? These are great resources because you should be able to see some before and after pictures as well as read reviews from others who have worked with them. If they seem like the type of person you'd like to work with, then set up an estimate. When they show up, are they on time? If they cannot manage their time effectively, what's going to happen when it comes time to start your project? Will it ever get started, or more importantly, finished? These are subtle signs, but they definitely relate to someone's dependability.

 

Organization

       This is key. A contractor's organization skills can be what makes or breaks the job. There is so much that needs to be planned for, executed accordingly, and managed to ensure success. All of those are achieved by organizing employees, materials, and paperwork. When reviewing which contractor you want to proceed with, think back to any and all of the interactions you've had with them thus far. Were there several occasions where they forgot something at home? Did they need to frequently shuffle through stacks of paper? Or how about when you've spoken with them, did they seem to get to the point or was there a lot of talking in circles and uncertainty? When you are in the hunt, you will not have an abundance of information on which to base your opinion. This is why you'll need to pick up on these small signals that can make all the difference!

 

Eye for Detail

       This one is pretty straightforward, and fairly simple. What's the contractor's image like? Does he seem to know what he's talking about? Even if you're not that familiar with a product, ask him questions about what he uses. You will not need to know the answer for this to be effective, what you're doing here is testing him. If the contractor can quickly reply in a confident manner, then odds are he knows what he's talking about! However, if he cannot give you an answer, what does he tell you? Does he make something up on the spot and tell you what you want to hear? Contractors are human too, we make mistakes and sometimes don't always have the answer. When someone asks me a difficult question that I'm not sure about, I'll tell them I'm not certain and that I will get back to them with the right answer. I'd much rather give an accurate answer as oppose to say something I think is right, causing problems later. Another thing to look for, what is he wearing? An estimate is much like an interview in a way, it's an appointment where two strangers are introducing themselves to see if they'd be a good fit for one another. Would you show up to an interview in a pair of shredded jeans and old t-shirt? No. Nor should the person you're hiring.

 

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