7 Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Home Renovation 

Home renovations are exciting!  You’re turning your dream into reality.  Before you begin work, you have to take on the tough task of finding a contractor that you can trust to get the job done right.  A good contractor will make the renovation process smooth and exciting.  Hiring the wrong person can turn your project into a nightmare.  Here are some pointers:

So how do you avoid hiring the wrong person?

  1. Ask for Referrals – Has your friend recently completed a renovation project?  Were they pleased with the overall work and professionalism of the person they hired?  A referral from a friend is the starting point when searching for the right person.
  2. Facebook Forums – A great way to find contractor referrals.  Most cities have forums that you can post and create conversations.  Ask for a referral in the forum and you’ll be amazed how many responses you will get from people who want to help.  If you live in Ferndale, check out the “Fabulous Ferndale Forum”, or the “Ferndale Forum”.  Oak Park has the “Oak Park Forum”.  Hazel Park has the “Hazel Park Community Forum”.  All are great resources!
  3. Look at Google Reviews – Looking through Google reviews can give you valuable insight into how a person conducts business. Don’t just look at the star rating, but actually read through some of the reviews. The best reviews to read through are the detailed reviews. A detailed review will actually explain to you a person’s experience working with them. If it’s not a detailed review then you won’t get the insight you need to make an informed decision.
  4. View Websites – Unfortunately most contractors will not have an active website.  A busy contractor may not have the time to maintain a website. Larger companies will have the capacity to hire their web services out but may have more overhead costs.  Which means their prices may be higher to help cover those costs.  You may miss out on a good contractor (and overpay) if you base your decision solely on a website.  But it should still be part of your vetting process.
  5. View Portfolios – If a contractor doesn’t have a website, they should at least have a portfolio of their past work.  Have them provide you with before, during construction, and after photos.  This will show that they were actually on that project and not just showing you photos from the web.
  6. Ask for References – A good contractor will come with strong references.  Ask them to provide you with a couple of their clients’ phone numbers.  Happy clients will be happy to discuss their experience with their contractors.
  7. Multiple Quotes – Now that you’ve established your list of contractors that fit within your qualifications, it’s time to get them to quote your project.  Receiving multiple quotes will give you a better understanding of what contractors are charging, and who is overcharging.

Tip: Don’t hire a contractor because they are the cheapest.  Often times the cheapest contractor doesn’t have the skill set required to do a professional job and will cost you more money in the end because you’ll have to hire a real professional to re-do the job right.

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