Considerations for Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor is something that most homeowners will have to do at some point. They may need their services for things like repairs, renovations, or upgrades. Regardless of your reason for hiring a contractor, there a few things to consider bef

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Considerations for Hiring a Contractor

Posted by Krista Kehoe on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 4:15pm.

Hiring a contractor is something that most homeowners will have to do at some point. They may need their services for things like repairs, renovations, or upgrades. Before selling a home, or after buying one, homeowners often decide to renovate to increase the property value or to increase the quality of life for their family. Regardless of your reason for hiring a contractor, there a few things to consider before choosing one.

After determining exactly what kind of renovation they want, take your time to determine which contractor or renovator they will hire. It's important to ensure that a contractor has experience in the job that's to be done. This will help you be sure that the job can be handled efficiently by the contactor, as they'll have done it before and are familiar with materials and any unforeseen things that may arise. If seeking a renovator, you may want to put them in charge of the whole job, so make sure that they are qualified to handle both the design and the labour of the renovation project.

Don't hesitate to shop around before hiring yourr contractor. It's worth asking any family members, friends, or colleagues who may have had similar work done and could offer a referral to a reliable contractor that they've worked with. Other people's experiences will give great insight into the character, reliability and overall quality of the work performed. Other options for shopping around include contacting local renovator and home builder associations, building supply stores, as well as online sources or the Better Business Bureau.

With each contractor that is considered, a meeting should be set up to discuss the project and obtain advice and suggestions for its completion. This is not the time to sign or pay for anything. It is a good idea to interview each contractor and ask questions like: How long have you been in the business? What areas do you specialize in? Will you use your own workers or hire subcontractors? What kind of warranty do you offer? How long might the project take to complete? And so on.

If they have trouble answering these questions or if there's difficulty communicating with them, this may not be the right contractor for the job. The contractor should also have a list of references available, and you shouldn't hesitate to call and ask questions about their experience. Once comfortable with at least three contractors, then look into obtaining estimates, determining a schedule, and detailing the contract.

Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®

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