5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor
One of the biggest tasks I had to do after my divorce was to hire a roofing and siding contractor and I must say it was an awful experience and one that I am still feeling the effects from today. This came at a time when I was emotionally drained and bouncing back from a serious health scare, which leads me to my first advice: TAKE YOUR TIME.
It’s shocking to learn that even with all the feminist activity occurring around the world such as the #metoo or #womensreality movement, there still exists a lack of equality for women, but it is our job to educate ourselves. I made a lot of mistakes but I learned a lot of lessons, and if I can help one mother out there to not make the same mistakes, I will have done my job.
- Do your due diligence
Do your homework. Do not go with the first few companies that show up on your internet search. My renovation project was an insurance claim. You do not need a public adjustor to submit your claim. I reiterate YOU DO NOT NEED A PUBLIC ADJUSTOR TO SUBMIT YOUR CLAIM. I was told from my insurance company to find a contractor first before submitting a claim, so I looked for a contractor on a popular online home improvement website. I hired this guy and it was a big mistake. Online reviews are not always reliable. I highly recommend referrals from friends and family.
- Get multiple bids
The consensus is to get at least three bids. Choose from a range of small, midsize and large businesses. Make sure you get three references from each. Review past work. A company not willing to provide references is a red flag! Move on to the next.
- Ask questions (A Lot)
Is this contractor insured and is the coverage appropriate? Ask for copies of the policies and keep them on file.
Is the company a member of any trade or local home builder associations? Does the contractor hold the proper professional license? How long has the company been in business? Does the contractor have a bricks-and-mortar business? If any dispute should rise, how can you be sure they will be around or in business tomorrow?
- Make sure everything is in writing This should be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised to find out how many people still do business with a handshake. Start with a contract. The contract should include when the project will start with an approximate end date, who will get and pay for building permits, who will cover cost of material. Keep in mind that contracts are often written by lawyers and are designed to protect the person/company named in the contract, so make sure you read all the fine print and understand what you are signing.
- Work with your contractor
Be flexible and work with your contractor. Most honest contractors want satisfied happy customers. This will lead to possible referrals and online reviews. During a project, especially if it’s complex, unexpected problems sometimes can arise. Work together to find ways to solve the problem.
After about four months of red tape, I found a contractor who completed the work and I must say I am happy!
How was your experience during your latest renovation project? Please, comment below.
Health and happiness. . .