To save money, you no doubt try to complete specific maintenance and repair tasks around the house yourself. However, each year there are some jobs you don’t have the experience or the expertise to handle, that you need to outsource to a qualified tradesperson. No matter whether you live in a small apartment, a family home or a mega-mansion, you’ll surely need to source a contractor at some stage. You may need to find a qualified electrician in New York City, a Dallas faucet repair service or a plumber in L.A.
However, when it’s time to hire someone, it can be daunting and stressful trying to decide who will be the best person for the job when there are so many options to select from. If you want to make this process go more smoothly, follow some simple yet useful tips. Read on for five of the critical things you must consider anytime you have to source a contractor to perform work on your property.
Get Clear About Your Goals
Before you even start trying to find a contractor, stop and think about what your goals are for the project you need assistance with. Work out what you require someone to do and the timeline you need everything to be finished in.
Being clear on your needs up front will make it much easier to find the right contractor; you’ll know what to look for when evaluating potential people. After all, they all have different levels of experience and areas of expertise and therefore different characteristics to offer.
Search for Experienced People
Come up with a shortlist of potential candidates based on research into the people servicing your area. You need to find someone who has plenty of experience and thus all the right knowledge and skills for the job. They also must be adequately licensed and insured.
Remember that it’s rather easy for anyone to create a website and business name and promote themselves as being an expert, but this doesn’t mean they are. Do due diligence to ensure you don’t choose someone fraudulent.
A key to this is reading reviews and testimonials, such as those on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, where the information is less likely to be doctored than on a company website. Wherever possible, chat with people who have used contractors to find out what they liked and what they were not so happy about. In particular, ask clients if they would use that contractor again.
Compare Prices Carefully
Of course, when it comes to choosing a contractor for your project, one of the most important factors you’re going to look at is a price. To find the best person for your needs, compare prices carefully, not just looking at the initial quote, but finding out all the details. This will enable you to compare apples with apples accurately.
You’ll likely find that different contractors use different types of fee structures. For instance, some work on a per-project basis, while others are per hour or have base pricing and then add on additional charges for anything extra.
Make sure you learn about any potential hidden fees you could be hit with later, such as extra costs for completing projects within a specific timeframe, for making simple changes to the job or for particular payment methods.
Look for a Problem-solver
Contractors who are going to do the best work on your project and who will also be easier to deal with are usually those who are problem-solvers. Unexpected hiccups may occur during renovation work, so you want someone who has honed their analytical skills and creative abilities and will be able to come up with smart solutions to problems.
Contractors who are adept at problem-solving are also usually people who continually learn new things, don’t throw their hands in the air at the first sign of a roadblock and stay calm under pressure. These are all things you want in the person you entrust to make your home shine.
Find Someone with Good Communication Skills
Lastly, make sure you find someone with excellent communication skills. If you are dealing with a contractor who has excellent interpersonal skills and who can explain things to you in a way you quickly understand, this will make the whole experience more pleasant. It will also ensure the result is what you were after, as miscommunications will be less likely to occur.