Here at Lawrence Tool Rental, we’re pretty staunch supporters of the DIY ethic. We believe that with the right tools, homeowners can accomplish just about anything. Every now and then, however, you may need to call in the experts to lend a hand with an especially ambitious project. The bad news is that it’s not always easy to tell who the experts are. General contracting licenses vary by state, and some states don’t require licensing at all. A bad contractor might cost you thousands of wasted dollars, or worse, do serious damage to your home. Likewise, it’s important that homeowners do their homework before they hire a contractor.
Ask For References
Any contractor worth their salt shouldn’t have any problem providing you with references that can verify the quality of their work. Ideally, these references should be former clients of the contractor. A former client can not only confirm that a contractor does good work, but also that they’re reliable and honest about pricing.
Conduct an Interview
Ask them about their area of expertise, and ask to see examples of their work. Find out how many other projects their working on at the same time, and confirm that they’ll have enough time to devote to your job. Try to get a feel for the size and type of projects they typically work on. If it’s not in line with what you have in mind, keep shopping around.
Forget the Lowball Offer
It might be tempting to jump at the lowest quote you hear, but this is rarely the best option. It may mean that the contractor has a tendency to cut corners to save money, or it might mean that they’re not giving you an honest estimate. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Draw up a Contract
Outline a payment schedule and timeframe for the project. Be sure to list things like materials and equipment needed to complete the project. Any building permits required for the project should be listed in this contract as well. A good contractor should understand that a contract is designed to protect them as well as the homeowner.
The most important thing to remember is to shop around and trust your instincts. If you don’t trust someone to do the job right, look elsewhere.
Stay tuned for more updates from Lawrence Tool Rental!