With visions of home improvements dancing in your head, the first thing you need to do is start looking for experienced contractors. Without a professional builder on your side it can be difficult to make those renovation dreams a reality. But how can you be sure the contractors are reputable? Is there a way to gather names and information without leaving this important decision to chance?
There are a few different ways to find good contractors and all require some legwork on your part. It’s worth it though, considering the hassle an experienced pro will save you. Taking the necessary time to find the right contractor will save you enormous amounts of headache later on.
Start with referrals. This is often the easiest way to gather two or three builder names and it also tends to be the most successful method. Ask your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers whether they have worked with any good contractors recently. You will usually end up with a few names given to you by trusted sources. And by visiting their home you can also get a good look at the quality of work that contractor has done.
Don’t forget to make a note of any contractors your friends and neighbors warn you to stay away from. If the company in question has done shoddy work, veered far from the accepted schedule or is ignoring service work post-project completion, steer clear. If your friend had a personality conflict, but found the overall quality of work to be good keep that company on the short list – you may get along with them just fine.
Builder’s associations are another smart place to gather names from. Generally those companies that belong to builder’s associations or groups have been in business for an extended period of time. They often have an established client list and good connections throughout the building industry. This is the kind of general contractor you’re looking for.
You can certainly use the Internet to search for contractors, as long as you have the right qualifications in mind during your search. Don’t just look for well laid out advertisements in prominent places. Any firm can buy those. What you need to find is a company with an informative website that displays pictures of work they have actually done. There should also be a history about the company that helps you to gauge how long they’ve been around and where their roots are.
Many people look in directories (both in print and online) to search for quality contractors. While this can garner you an impressively long list of companies, it will do nothing to filter out those you don’t want to work with and could get you into a bad situation fast. If you want to gather names from these directories, be sure you follow up with the research outlined here – ask friends about the company, check out the builder’s associations and look through the contractor’s website. That will give you a better idea of who they are.
Your home renovation dreams are much closer when you’ve done the work to find experienced contractors. These professionals are ready to team up with you and bring those dreams to life with innovative designs and quality construction.