Did you know that independent contractors made up 6.9 percent of the total employment in 2017? Finding a good contractor for a big project around your home is important.
Why? Because you want the job done right!
Beware of scams and don’t go with the first contractor you get estimates from.
Here are 7 tips to find a contractor to complete your job.
1. How Long Have They Been in Business?
Some contractors prefer to partner with other contractors who’ve been in business for a long time. Many years of business brings experience that new companies can’t match.
Yet, assuming that the company is older and performs better is not always the case.
Ask the contractor if it’s a family business. Did the son take over after the father stepped down?
2. Has the Company Changed Names Before?
Even if they’ve changed names once, that’s a red flag.
Why did they change names? What are they hiding?
But, name changes are not always a bad thing. Mergers and strategic business choices could ease a name change. This is where you do your research and prepare to interpret the company’s response to your question.
3. Do They Have a Permanent Address?
If the contractor has no permanent address, huge red flag. If they do, Google Earth it to scope out where it is without having to visit. Does it look like a legit company? Do you see their company sign out front?
You can also verify the permanent address from previous projects the company’s done.
4. Are They Licensed & Registered?
To find a contractor, make sure they’re licensed and registered. Lawsuits and state law violations may happen if you choose an unlicensed and unregistered contractor.
Check to see if the company has any certifications, accreditations or awards.
5. Ask for References
Companies don’t hire new employees without calling their references. This applies to a contractor as well.
Soliciting references from others will give you an idea of the quality and levels of service from the company. If possible, ask to visit the sites were the contractor worked to inspect the quality.
It doesn’t matter if it’s formwork systems or concrete, look to see what the final result looked like.
6. Get a Written Contract
Even if your state doesn’t need a written agreement, get one anyway! Make sure it’s clear and concise. Include the who, what, when, where and cost of your project.
Don’t sign it without reading it.
7. Beware of Scams
Unfortunately, 1 in 5 people reported an imposter scan in 2017. Don’t let this happen to you!
Don’t do business with someone who knocks at your door for business or offers you discounts, has materials left over from another job, pressures you, asks you to get building permits, or only accepts cash.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
Find a Contractor You Trust
Now that you have an idea on how to find a contractor, it’s time to do your research. Get as many estimates as you want until you feel comfortable with the contractor you chose.
If you want to look within your zip code, Find a Business That is a good start!