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Steps to Take When hiring a Contractor


Contractors are helpful when it comes to building something new, making repairs and replacements, renovating homes and handling emergencies. With the right contractor, you will get things done fast, accurately and at a minimal cost. So how do you find the right person for the job? This article highlights some of the key steps you can follow when hiring a contractor. 

Check the Qualifications and Experience
The first thing you should check is the contractor’s qualifications and experience. The qualifications and experience should be specific to the task you would like the contractor to complete. For instance, if you have an electrical emergency, you should look for a contractor who has the qualifications and experience to handle electrical work. 

Check the Legal Compliance
Each state has a list of legal requirements that contractors are expected to meet. The most common legal requirements include training, licensing and registration, and insurance. These requirements will vary from state to state. The requirements are also different for different types of contractors. Some contractors must have a license and insurance to work in your home whereas for others this is not a requirement by the law. Ensure the contractor you hire has fulfilled all the legal requirements. If you are not sure about the legal requirements, check with the licensing department in your state. 

Read Online Reviews
A simple internet search for “residential electricians near me” will give you a lot of results. Just because someone shows up on search doesn’t mean they are legit. This is why you should read online reviews. Reading reviews will keep you from hiring a contractor who has all the paperwork but a poor reputation, and reading reviews is the best way to check a contractor’s reputation even before you meet in person. Read a number of reviews online from different sites. Positive reviews are a good sign and negative ones can be a red flag. However, don’t dismiss a company because of one to two negative remarks. Contractors, just like all other professionals do encounter tough customers each day. The negative remark could be from someone who was difficult to please or it could have been an honest mistake. When you see a negative remark, check if the contractor has made any response to address the issues raised by the aggrieved customers. If the company offered to resolve the issue, that is a sign that they are responsible.

Talk to the Contractor 
Once you are done with the reviews, talk to the contractor. This step will help you in gauging two things, expertise and customer service. Ask the contractor a number of questions on how they intend to handle your project, the resources they have for the job and their availability. For customer service, note how prompt they are to respond to your phone calls or emails and how they address you. That conversation you have with the contractor will show whether you two can really work together. 

Ask for Samples
If you are not satisfied with your research and the chat you have with the contractor, you can request the contractor to show you samples of their previous work. Most contractors will have a photo gallery and even videos showcasing the projects they have handled in the past. By looking at the samples, especially for remodelling and new building projects, you will get a clearer picture of the contractor’s expertise. 

Get the Pricing and Contract
Next, ask about the pricing and discuss the project details. The project’s contract can include the start and completion date, tasks to be carried out, fees, payment terms, materials and termination clause among others. The content will vary depending on the nature of the project. Discussing the details in advance and putting them in writing is essential to avoid disputes. The written agreement can serve as evidence in case one party fails to honour their part of the deal. If you have any questions about your contract, talk to a legal expert. Don’t sign the document if anything is unclear. Finally, note that you can make a list of contractors with a good reputation and compare their rates. However, don’t make the mistake of comparing the prices before you check the reputation and quality of services. 

Those are some of the steps that can be helpful when hiring a contractor. You may be required to do more research depending on the nature of your project. By choosing the right person, you will have a peace of mind knowing that your project will be handled professionally.

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