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How to hire the right contractor!

If you are planning a renovation or remodeling project in your home or office, how do you plan on hiring the proper contractor for the job?

Here are the WHEN, WHY, HOW, WHO, and WHAT tips for having the right person perform the work for you.

WHEN: You will need to plan out your project along with your budget. Have a clear idea of what you want in the project. Do sketches, talk it over with others, make sure you are realistic in budgeting the money for this project.

WHY: Why hire a licensed and insured contractor? Licensed contractors must adhere to local and national codes, be able to obtain permits for local authorities, and understand the building industry. An insured contractor carries the proper general liability insurance along with workmen compensation insurance. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover a homeowner that allows an uninsured contractor in their home that may have an accident such as falling off of a ladder. The homeowner would then be responsible for insurance coverage on the injured worker.

HOW: The best way to find a good contractor is generally through others who have used them. Check with your family, friends, neighbors for names. Make sure the contractor has references for you to check. Check with the State Regulatory agency to verify their licensing. Ask them to provide a certificate of insurance for you. If a contractor will not provide the above, it is not someone you want to do business with.

WHO: Choose your contractor carefully. Interview the person and tell them the exact scope of the work and when you expect it to be done. Ask them for an estimate. Be sure that they include their license number, estimated completion time, terms of payment, and any conditions.

WHAT: What to expect? You can expect good communications during the project, possibly work change orders (created by either party due to unforeseen circumstances), a proper time line, regular reports on progress, and a completion of the job that warrants your satisfaction.

Following the above simple guidelines, your relationship with your contractor will be profitable and satisfying for both parties.

The best compliment a contractor can receive is a referral from a happy customer, and the best customer is one who is satisfied and happy with the project when completed.

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About the Author

Debra Weeks-Alexander, D.Weeks-Alexander & Associates, Inc. AKA The M.R.S.
12811 Oxon Rd.
Herndon, VA 20171

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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