Choosing a contractor for your home renovations can be a tricky business. Contractors seemingly spring up over night and the industry is notorious for shady characters. As industry professionals working to provide a great service at fair prices it’s our job to make sure consumers don’t get stuck with a half-finished projects or worse. There are certain things to look for when hiring a contractor to make sure that you’re working with a legitimate, professional business.
Follow our quick checklist to make sure your next contractor measures up.
Ask if they’re a member of any associations
In Louisville, we have the Building Industry Association of Greater Louisville. This is a network of building professionals who receive mandatory education so that they’re up-to-date on industry trends and rules and are provided with conciliation should any issues arise between the builder and the client. Further, Louisville has a thriving Better Business Bureau that works to provide information to the consumer using a grading scale.
Use a licensed contractor and make sure they have both liability and workers’ compensation insurance
In Louisville Metro, anyone or any business “practicing or offering to practice” building services must hold a contractor license. Anyone operating without this license is doing so without the knowledge of the Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations. In addition, a contractor should have insurance to protect both their business and the home owner in the case of a job site accident.
Ask for references
A reliable contractor should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied clients who don’t share the same last name.
Get three quotes
With any large investment you need to do your due diligence. Finding a contractor is no different. However, many times people can get buried under too many quotes and have a hard time making a decision. Three quotes from contractors you trust should give you options without being overwhelming.
Use a contractor who uses a written contract and a limited liability warranty
Unfortunately, a verbal contract is insufficient when it comes to this business. Get a written contract and read it carefully. It should state what your contractor will and will not be responsible for on your project. Once you’ve seen a contract ask about a warranty. A one-year warranty is industry standard.
Go with your gut
After you’ve gone through the process of eliminating any potentially shady contractors it can sometimes be hard to know just who to choose. Ask yourself who you felt comfortable with, who put you at ease and who do you want to see around your house for the next few days, weeks or months?
For more tips check out the BIA’s consumer page: https://bialouisville.com/consumers/