The first step to making exterior home improvements is to find the right contractor, but finding the right contractor can be overwhelming. If you ask five friends, you’ll likely get five different recommendations that contradict one another. When hiring a contractor for your exterior home improvements, there are things you can do to ensure that you are going about it in a smart way.
Look for a Local Contractor
One of the most important pieces to consider when hiring a contractor for exterior home improvements is to choose a local contractor. There may be many large contracting firms who want your business, but they may not understand your area like a local contractor will. You may get a wonderful reference from a family member, but that contractor may not serve your area. While there are some contractors who will offer to make a longer commute, they often will up-charge you to do so. It is always best to look for someone who serves your local area. There are many resources to find recommendations for local contractors for exterior home improvements. Groups on social media, review websites that allow you to search by area, and speaking with local family and friends are all great ways to find a local contractor with a good reputation.
Check References and Credentials
Recommendations are helpful, but your contractor should also provide you with references to check. You should also make sure to get information about your contractor’s insurance, licensing, and any certifications they may hold. This is your time to ask questions. Asking about experience, both in general and with the specific project you have in mind, is important. It’s also a good idea to ask your contractor about the timeline. If you need a job completed by a certain date, it’s important to know if the contractor can meet your needs. Not only will these questions and checks give you the facts you need, you will also learn a lot about the contractor by how they handle these initial conversations. Many contractors appreciate a potential client doing their research. If a contractor acts annoyed or brushes off concerns, that can be a red flag telling you to look elsewhere.
Get Multiple Estimates and Be Smart When You Compare Bids
Getting estimates is important, and most often, you will want to compare estimates from 3-5 local contractors. The lowest price typically isn’t the best price, and when comparing estimates, it’s important to know if you are comparing apples to apples. Your estimate should include the materials and labor involved, and differences in materials or services offered can make a big difference. The goal is to find a contractor who comes in with a bid that works with your budget without sacrificing quality. When getting estimates, you will also need to look at the payment agreement. In most cases, contractors will require a certain amount down with the remaining cost spread throughout the remainder of the project. It’s important to find a contractor who you feel comfortable with.
Make Sure You Have a Thorough Contract
The final step in hiring an exterior home improvement contractor is drawing up the contract. The contract will lay out the plans for the project clearly, defining exactly what will be done and the price you will pay for that service. A strong contract will include all of the relevant information on both the contractor and the homeowner (names, addresses, license and insurance information for the contractor, and phone numbers) and will be dated accurately. The contract will then include a detailed description of the job, the price of each task, an estimated start and finish date, a payment schedule, the permits necessary, and any other relevant information.
Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming, but once you’ve found the right person for the job, you can trust that your project will be completed successfully. Doing your research and making sure to go through every step thoroughly can help ensure that you will have a contractor who you can trust to get the job done. We’d love to talk with you about the exterior home improvements on your to-do list. Contact Armorvue Home Exteriors for a virtual appointment today!