When your house starts feeling dated and sort of drab, you don’t need to look for another place to live. You want a good contractor to renovate your home – top to bottom. A good professional can create miracles and the only problem is how to find the right one. Here’s all you need to know about choosing the right contractor.
- Make a plan
Maybe top to bottom is not really necessary, maybe it’s just the kitchen and dining area. You need to decide what is the extent of the renovations your house needs. Write down all the work you’d like done so you’ll know exactly what to tell the contractor.
- Make a list of contractors in your area
The first thing you’ll want to do is google the home contractors in your area. Check out their websites, look at ratings and customer google reviews and write down the ones that seem OK to you. Check out their Before/After galleries.
Also, it’s always good to ask around, talk with friends, family or neighbors and see if they can recommend somebody they’ve worked with and add them to your list.
- Ask for quotes
Contact all the contractors on your list. Explain the kind of work you have in mind and ask for an estimate. Don’t be surprised if their estimates fall in the same range, but be wary of those who go over the top or make a really low offer. You can also ask for a time estimate since such projects typically turn your life upside down. You don’t want to live on a construction site for the next six months!
- Interview the selected contractors
Next step is to ask to meet the contractors on your shortlist. Have them come by the house and talk to them about your requirements. Listen carefully to their solutions. You want somebody who sounds competent and comes up with easy solutions. Something that sounds overly complicated will probably end up costing a lot and might turn out quite unnecessary.
- Ask for references
Besides checking their online reviews, ask to talk to former clients. See if they were satisfied and ask if the work was delivered within the agreed time frame. Most important ask if the contractor stayed within the initial budget or did they keep making demands for more money.
- Ask for a criminal background check
If these people are going to be in your house for a long time, they’ll also have access to your valuables. It’s always smart to ask for a background check. Ask the business owners if they run background checks on their employees. You don’t have to be ashamed to ask such a thing. These guys will be in your house and around your kids for weeks if not months. You don’t want dangerous people in your house.
If they cannot provide police checks for their employees, suggest using an online character check agency that sends you back the results in a couple of days. It won’t inconvenience them in any way since everything is done online, applying for a background check only takes a few minutes and you can do it over the phone even. It’s easy and it gives you peace of mind. These days, criminal record checks are relatively easy to obtain. In states like New South Wales, you can apply online. It is also important to note that police checks do come with a small cost involved and even in places like NSW (e.g. Sydney) whilst you can get a police check in NSW online, you cannot get a police check online in NSW for free which is a common misconception when people request police character checks. There is no such thing as a free check as you will see from the official website link given here. They normally cost around $48 AUD or so so keep the cost in mind.
Now that you’ve made up your mind, make sure to read the contract carefully, including the fine print. The devil is in the details, you know that. Good luck with your project!