Owning your own home is a large responsibility. When something breaks there is no one to turn to for repairs. It is up to you to get that roof replaced or and addition added on to your home. Both of these are large tasks, and often require a professional.
How do you choose a professional for repairs on your home?
- Ask how long they have been in business. If you are contracting a major project it would be a good idea to check the company references. Never take anyone’s word. This is not a character question, it is a business reference.
- Have they ever done this type of repair? How long did it take them to complete the job? Is it possible to go and see work they have done in the past?
- Ask the names and locations of the last three jobs that were completed by the company. Again, inquire with the customer. Where they satisfied? Did they have any problems?
- Ask who will be doing the actual work. Will the company you hire do the work themselves or will they subcontract the work. If they will not disclose who will be doing the work, supplying the name of the subcontractor, I would recommend another contractor. It is your right to know who will be working on your home.
- Ask to see the contractor’s license. Most states require residential contractors be licensed.
- Ask to a valid certificate of insurance. This is necessary to cover any property damage that may occur as well as any personal liability.
- When the contractor is hired ask to see the permits before the work has begun. Require that the contractor shares all inspection reports with you as they occur as well as certificates of reinspection.
Take your time
Don’t rush when making your selection. Know exactly what you want done and get it in writing before the bids are generated to assure there will be no surprises later.
It is a good idea to secure three quotes before deciding on a contractor. Make sure that all bids cover every aspect of the job as well as permit fees. Remember when deciding on a contractor, it is very tempting to go with the lowest bid. This may be a good bid from a contractor that is as good as the other two, but do your research and make sure. It is better to pay a little more and get a good job than it is to pay less and have issues later.
Home repair does not have to be a bad experience, and in most cases the end result is good. Visit the jobsite often and interact with the contractor. Don’t get in the way and don’t tell them what to do, remembering that they are the professionals, but do enjoy the experience.