Whether it’s the start of the new year or the promise of that tax return, many homeowners begin to plan upcoming household projects in January. Proper budgeting and planning the right project for the right season is important. However, the most important part of doing home improvements is hiring qualified and trustworthy tradesmen. By hiring the right tradesman for your project you can rest assured that your project is in good hands. Hiring an incompetent tradesman can come with a slew of problems. Incorrect work, unfinished work, and in some extreme cases even legal disputes. Here are some helpful tips from The Mower Group to consider anytime you plan to hire outside workers for your home projects.
Do Your Research
One of the best ways to start your hunt for a good tradesman is by researching local recommendations in your area. Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews are a great place to start. Narrow down your list to the top two or three with the best reviews. Many homeowners are now sharing information on Nextdoor which is a great idea! With Nextdoor you can hear directly from your neighbors and people in your community about which tradesmen they use. Ask about their home project results and their personal experiences with them.
Narrow down your list of potential hires to the top two or three recommended. Then, check to see if they are an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB Accredited Businesses agree to a separate set of standards including honest advertising, fair pricing, trustworthy work, and many others. Additionally, on the BBB website, you can search whether the business has complaints, reviews, and any scam alerts.
Ask For References on Your Tradesmen
You are not obligated to hire a tradesman just because you have contacted them to inquire about a project. One of the first questions you should ask the tradesman is for a list of local references you may contact regarding their work. If they are unwilling to provide you with references or do not have any, this may be a red flag. If they do provide you with references ask them about the services performed and their overall experience with the tradesman and their work. Some other good points to check up on with references is whether the tradesman stayed within the estimated budget for the project and if they completed the work on time.
Get Multiple Quotes
For any home project, we recommend shopping around and getting at least two to three quotes. There are many skilled tradesmen around. Therefore, you will likely end up with two or three that have good reviews and have provided you with solid references. Request a bid from each of them. Ensure each considers the same project criteria when making your estimated quote. Keep in mind that the lowest bid may not always be the best bid. In fact, if one bid is significantly lower than the other two this may be a red flag. The tradesman may intend to cut corners on the project or use lower quality building materials. Having multiple quotes for one project may be time-consuming. However, providing yourself with options is well worth the wait.
Don’t Leave Loose Ends When Hiring Tradesmen
Once you have found the tradesman you want to work with, wrap up all loose ends to the hiring process. Always ensure your tradesman has the necessary license and insurance to accept work in your county. If your project requires work permits, ensure that your tradesman and you discuss this, who will obtain them, and how they will be paid for. Do not allow anyone to do any additions to your home without the proper permits – this can cause huge headaches in the future so it should be avoided at all costs.
Get your quotes in writing, including estimated completion time. Finally, arrange a payment schedule that works for both parties, and ensure you never pay for a large scale project upfront. It is best to stagger the payment plan so the final payment for the project is not due until the project has been completed, giving you ample opportunity to inspect the tradesman’s work on your home and ensure satisfaction.
Doing projects around the house and making home improvements can be a lot of fun. Not only does it allow you to get creative with designs, color schemes, and other personalized details, but it is also a great way to improve the value of your home. However, your home is a very valuable asset so it is important you don’t just let anyone do work on it. Make sure you do your homework and hire qualified people for the job, ensuring your home is treated with the respect and love you would want for it – it is YOUR HOME after all.