For some, it may be easy to replace such things as a window, fix a leaky faucet, or make layout changes, but for the rest of us, hiring a contractor is a necessity.  To ensure your receive the best quality of workmanship and service, it is important to choose the right person(s) to get the job done, as a top priority among homeowners is maintaining not only the look but the “health” of the overall structure.

Here are some tips for choosing the right contractor for your home:

Ask for References.  Talk with others who have had work done by the contractor.  Find out about his capabilities and quality of workmanship.  The best advice you will get is from someone who has a history with the contractor.

Ask to see the Contractors Work.  Take advantage of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to research the contractor on your own.  Their online presence will tell you a lot about the contractor’s quality of work, as well as a little character too!

Ask for the Insurance Certificate.  Licensed contractors will have an insurance certificate that verifies current workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, but note that contractors without employees are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  Verifying this information could prove to be vital in the event of a problem.

Ensure there will be a Written Contract.  Always insist on a written contract, and be sure to incorporate any warranties, guarantees, or other special circumstances.

Get Estimated Start and Completion Dates.  Be realistic when thinking about the start and end dates, and if the timing doesn’t sound right to you, ask the contractor to explain in further detail the reason for his suggested time.

Beware of an Unusually Low-Cost Estimate.  The age-old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” applies here.  You shouldn’t always choose the contractor with the lowest bid, as the quality of work may not be what you are hoping for.  Make sure to do the proper research in determining what kind of materials will be used or what types of other labor is needed in order to choose the contractor.

Choose a Contractor you are Comfortable with.  The entire home improvement process will be less stressful if you choose a contractor whom you’ve connected with in some way.  A contractor should be able to express to you that he understands your tastes and needs to finish with the best result.

Always make sure to do the proper research when hiring an outside party to provide home maintenance and improvements, as a bad experience can lead to a decrease in the value of your home.  If you need help choosing a home improvement contractor in the Lehigh Valley, please give us a call at 610-398-8408, as we can suggest a few with whom we’ve had great experiences.

What suggestions do you have for homeowners who need to hire a contractor?


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