Perhaps you’ve decided to sell your home and need to make improvements before putting it on the market. Or maybe you’ve just purchased a home but it needs a little work. In either case, you’re probably going to need a contractor to get the job done, but finding the right one can be tricky. There’s more to it than picking a name out of the phone book or going with the lowest bidder. Below are some tips that will help you select the right contractor for your home improvement project.

Get referrals from friends and family members who have used contractors in the past. Who do they recommend? Getting a referral from someone you know and trust is a great way to find the right person for the job.

Once you have a list of potential candidates, narrow down the list and request at least three bids for your project to give you an idea on the cost and time it will take to complete the project.

Licenses & Insurance
Verify that your potential contractor is licensed.  Though having a license doesn’t guarantee the contractor will do the job well, it does offer protection for you, the homeowner as well as a red flag that the contractor is not legitimate if there is no license.

In addition, ask if the contractor has general liability insurance and request proof of insurance. Make sure they also comply with workers’ compensation requirements.

Request References
Even if a potential contractor looks good on paper, it’s always a good idea to check references with past customers to check the quality of work and ease of working with the contractor. Seeing their work in person and talking with their customers will give you a good indication of what it will be like to work with them yourself.

Get it in Writing
Once you are confident that you have the right contractor for your project, be sure to get a written agreement. Make sure payment details of the project are clearly stated in the contract. Beware of any contractor that wants all or most of the money up front. Most reputable contractors will expect a down payment and then offer installments as various phases of the project are completed.

Do you have additional tips on working with a contractor? Share them below and contact us for more information on home improvement and much more.

Kim Hughes