Five Tips for Finding a Reliable Home Contractor
Whether you plan to live in your investment property or you intend to rent it out or flip it, you may find yourself in need of a contractor to assist with repairs or general maintenance of your home. Finding someone you can trust to do the work is essential, particularly if you will not be spending a great deal of time at your U.S. property or will otherwise be unable to directly supervise the work. To that end, here are five tips to keep in mind when searching for a reliable home contractor.
Tip #1: Ask People You Trust
The best way to find a reliable vendor for repairs and maintenance of your property is to simply ask people you trust. Friends, relatives, coworkers and other investors are likely to have had experiences with contractors in the past. Asking them about those experiences and about their recommendations is the quickest and easiest way to narrow down your pool of potential contractors.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Contractor for the Job
While some contractors generalize in all types of home maintenance and repair, others specialize in one particular type of work. Depending upon the type of work that you need to have done, it may be in your best interest to hire a contractor who specializes in that particular area. For example, hiring a company that specializes in roof repair is likely to yield better results than a general contractor. Similarly, if you are looking to have specialty work completed in a bathroom remodel, it may be in your best interest to hire a contractor who specializes in that type of work in order to obtain the best results.
Tip #3: Conduct a Background Check
Once you have put together a pool of potential contractors, the next step is to ensure the contractor is properly licensed. You should also check the disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau and local court records to see if there have been any complains filed against the contractor or a history of litigation.
Tip #4: Interview at Least Three Potential Candidates
Once you have narrowed down your options, you should be sure to interview at least three of the potential candidates. In doing the interview, you will be better able to determine how comfortable you feel with the contractor, how well the contractor listens to your needs and how effective the contractor is at communicating with you. Clearly, you want to select a contractor who leaves you feeling at ease and who understands the type of work that you wish to have done.
At the interview, you should also ask the contractor to provide copies of his license as well as copies of the licenses of major subcontractors who will be assisting with the job.
Tip #5: Put it In Writing
After you select the contractor that you wish to hire, be sure to put all of your expectations in writing. Your contract should include all of the following:
- Proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation
- Start date and projected completion date
- Materials and products to be used
- Detailed information about the project that is to be completed
Your contract should also include a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases, which will keep you protected if the contractor fails to pay his subcontractors and suppliers.