You finally got the keys to that home you and your family has been waiting for. Then you get all moved in and settled for a few months and you find there are a few things you would like to change or upgrade.
So you sit down with your wife and discuss all aspects of a home improvement project. There will be cost, time, inconveniences and more. Depending on the size of your project you may want to consider hiring a home improvement contractor.
When the project is small like painting a room, installing fixtures, or doing a small patch of concrete you can do the project yourself. These types of projects do not take a lot of special tools, time or permits. Even though I have heard you should get permits to change the trap under your sink. So you may want to check with building and safety department in your area. The greatest part of doing the project yourself is the satisfaction you get when you are done.
Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor
If you are going to do a large project like a room addition, tile a large room or all your floors, or paint the exterior of your home you will probably want to hire a Contractor.
A good way to get a dependable contractor is to ask people you know for names of contractors that they have used. You should try to get at least 3-4 names to choose from. Then you can get references of jobs done by the contractor from the contractors themselves.
Be sure to ask them if they have a license and as part of your homework you can check there license you can do this by contacting the State licensing board in your state Then you want to make sure that they have insurance and are bonded you may want to contact the company that insures them to make sure that their insurance is up to date.
Some Contractors will pay the premium get the cards and then stop paying. They will show you the cards and you will have no way of knowing if they are up to date and you do not want to find out that there insurance has not been paid after an accident. If they have a problem giving you this information beware.
Once you have done this you can call on the references and ask
Was the project completed on time?
Did it stay within budget?
How were changes dealt with?
Did the contractor get permits or did they have to?
Was the job-manned everyday that it could be? Exception bad weather material delays etc.
While you are doing this you can give each contractor a set of plans and ask them to bid on your project. By the time you have done your research they can probably have their bid ready to return to you.
You can now sit down and discuss this with you spouse who you would like to use knowing you have all the information you need to make an informed decision and no matter which one of these contractors you use they will be qualified to do the job taking about 50% of the headache out of the project.
This may seem like a lot of work but you will want to be sure that the home improvement contractor that is going to be helping you to fulfill one of your families dreams is the best you can get.