Making the decision to renovate or remodel your home was hard enough. It’s natural that you want to simply hire the first contractor you meet to help you get the job done. Do not do this! Finding a good, reliable and affordable contractor is worth taking time to accomplish.
Here are just five reasons why you need to check out your potential contractor’s online reputation.
1. Potential Personality Issues
You want to make sure that the contractor you hire is someone with whom you are able to jive personally. It’s easy enough for someone to put on a good face during an interview when they are trying to get a job. It’s entirely another to keep up the façade every day while working on your home. The last thing you want is someone with whom you cannot get along or who is going to treat you poorly.
2. He’s Actually a Total Noob
It’s easy for someone to claim that they have years of contracting experience or that they have finished a bunch of major projects exactly like the one you need to have done. You don’t want to hire someone, sign a contract, and then find out that the sum total of his actual experience is helping his buddy build a deck…that’s lopsided.
3. Verification of Education and Licensing
Contractors need to be licensed through a variety of different boards and provincial entities. The great thing about these licenses is that they are easy enough to verify with the municipal or provincial records office. You can also verify your contractor’s education by contacting the school from which he graduated as well as any professionals he worked with as an apprentice. It might take an afternoon to accomplish, but it’s better to do it than to find out later that his only degree is an honorary one bestowed upon him by his dollhouse builder’s club.
4. Avoid Rip-Off Artists
The experts from Reputation.com suggest checking into a contractor’s online rep because “there are lots of people out there who claim to be contractors but who are nothing more than con artists. The most often perpetrated trick is getting you to sign a contract and pay a deposit and then simply never showing up or contacting you again.” Sometimes, though, these are people who work to gain your trust so that they can case your home and then rob it once you trust them enough to leave them alone on the premises.
5. You Want the Project to Be Perfect
Your home is your castle. You want the work done, sure, but what you really want is to have the work done by someone who knows exactly what he’s doing and understands how much you love your home and will treat it (and you) with the respect that is deserved. Going with the first person who applies for the job opens the door to someone who just wants a quick paycheck and will do a shoddy job or worse!
It might take some time and effort on your part, but isn’t the research and reputation-checking worth it if it means that things go exactly the way you want them to go?
Erin Steiner is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics.