Home Improvement; Guidelines for Selecting a Contractor
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Planning a home improvement project and finding just the right contractor doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. You can take the guess work out of finding a qualified contractor by following the guidelines in this thought-provoking “how to” article.
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In today’s world the most valuable asset owned by people is their home. And when considering any size home improvement project, protecting this investment should be top priority.
The first step in any remodeling or improvement project is to select the right contractor. Prudent homeowners will make their selection carefully and after thoughtful consideration. Is the contractor licensed, and is he experienced? If so, in what particular area is his expertise?
How to find a Qualified Contractor:
One source for locating a qualified, experienced contractor is from other people who have had similar remodeling work done. When talking with contractors, request references and take the time to check them out.
Check with a service that keeps track records of various contractors. You can also use online resources, such as Handy Canadian.com, for locating a qualified contractor in your area.
Hire only a home improvement contractor with strong referrals and high rankings. Depending on the type of project you are planning, you may need to deal with any of the following professional contractors:
Architects are designers of homes, buildings, and home improvement remodeling projects. You may want to consult one if your project includes new construction or structural changes.
Designers usually have expertise in a certain area of the home, such as interior decorating, and bedroom or bath design.
Design/build contractors see your project through from concept to completed construction, and may have an architect or certified designer on staff.
General Contactors oversee the entire construction process, and sub-contract specialized contractors such as plumbers or electricians.
Specialized contractors are highly proficient in their individual area, such as dry wall, paint, or cabinetry.
Questions to ask before selecting a contractor for your home improvement might include: How long have you been contracting? What licenses and certifications do you carry? How many projects have you completed in the last year; what were they, and who were they for?
Ask, “What references do you have? Will there be any subcontractors, and if so what are their credentials? What insurance coverage do you have? What permits are required for my project?”
Be Thorough in Your Search
You might also want to check with the appropriate government office to see whether or not there are any unresolved complaints against the contractor before making your final selection.
Check out all references provided and ask questions such as: Was the project completed on time and were you happy with the results? How well did the contractor communicate with you throughout the project? Were there any cost over-runs?
Also ask if the contractor employee’s were on time, courteous, and whether or not they cleaned up the home improvement site when they were finished?
Canadian residents have the opportunity to use the Internet to assist in the screening process by visiting Handy Canadian.com.
By following these guidelines, you help insure a successful home improvement!