Last modified: 2020-01-10 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
For many homeowners, the hardest part of starting a home renovation project is finding a reliable contractor to carry out the job. So, if you're wondering how you can locate the best tradesperson for the job, then you've come to the right place! For homeowners that are looking for a quick and cheap home renovation experience, it's likely you're going to get what you pay for.
It's important to spend time, energy and a little bit of extra money to find the right contractor for your home reno job. Remember, home is where the heart is, and all the good fortune you invest into it will benefit you in the long run, as well as increase the resale value of your home. So here are some tips from RenoQuotes.com to find the best contractor for your job!
Did a friend or family member recently have a portion of their home renovated and updated? Start by talking to those close to you regarding contractor recommendations. If they are comfortable recommending someone, then it is in your best interest to listen to them! Hopefully, your friends and family will offer trusted advice, so take it! If they haven't had work done in a while, look deeper and seek out professional referrals.
Expand your search to include references from trusted professionals who you’ve done work with in the past: these could be from your local realtor, lawyer, banker, or even your financial planner. Professionals in contact with other professionals know how they like to be treated, as business owners are aware that the key to positive work and recommendations is keeping your clients happy. Therefore, there will be a stronger incentive to recommend only the good renovation contractors!
Skilled contractors are often in high demand and very busy, so you need to be willing to wait! Try not to take waiting personally or assume the contractor isn't interested in your job offer. Most licensed tradespeople are in business as owner-operators, so it is likely they already have a lot on their plate. Do however note that a contractor being available immediately does not mean that they are any less skilled.
If such is the case and you manage to meet the contractor immediately, watch for certain signs that could be telling about their reliability. For example, if a contractor tells you they'll call you back and don't, this is likely a reflection of their work on the job. If you want a contractor who sticks to their word, make sure they do everything they can to reach you!
With that in mind, how many contractors should you meet with? Finding the right price requires some work on the part of the homeowner, as it is recommended that you get as many quotes as possible, but at least 3 should do. Choose quotes that fall in the middle range, as prices should be around the same amount. Higher quotes could reflect the skill level of the contractor or the price that the market demands.
Lower price quotes can reflect that the contractor does not have enough experience, as they are unaware of how to correctly quote the job, which may play out in them lacking the proper skill set, which is what you're ultimately looking to avoid.
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Online reviews can be trivial and complicated. Online reviewing is a business in itself, one that specializes in buying, finding and creating online testimonials for profit. It's hard to weed out the truth from the falsities, therefore, online reviews aren't always the most trustworthy sources. It is recommended that you pick up the phone and make a quick call to each of your prospective contractors. Ask them a few questions and see where their answers lie. Start with the basics: does this project suit you?
How long have they been in business? Are they able to provide financial references? Can they provide a list of previous clients? Are they working on anything else right now? After feeling confident with the answers they've provided, arrange to meet up in real life. A good contractor should be able to put you at ease regarding their skill set and knowledge of home renovations. However, don't let a bold personality bowl you over, stick to the hard facts and see how each contractor measures up against the rest!
If you've met with a few contractors you like but are still feeling conflicted about how much you can trust them, it is recommended that you check out the Better Business Bureau. This is similar to checking online reviews, although the only way a business or contractor can show up on the BBB is if there's been a complaint listed against them.
Also, worth considering is the Canadian Legal Information Institute, as this site records all court proceedings that have been held in Canada. If you type in the name of your proposed contractor or tradesperson and their name pops up it is because they have been involved in a court case. Make sure to click and read about what the case is regarding before you decide whether to move forward with them!
Another way to check your contractor's reputation is to search through municipal, provincial or trade associations. However, this does not guarantee that your contractor will be registered, as not all provinces, municipalities or trades make membership compulsory. There are no tangible benefits or incentives for general contractors to register with provincial associations, so bear that in mind if you are checking these sites.
The best way to know the warning signs of a bad contractor is to be proactive in your research and hiring process. This will help the chances of having a negative experience diminish. Be wary of door-to-door solicitors and those who will only take cash or pressure you into making a quick decision. Make sure that you verify that the contractor you choose is licensed to operate, checking for a local address online as well as how established the company is. If you're ambitious, it could even be worth visiting the contractor's past job sites in order to be sure or feel secure in the work they're going to do on your home.
Online contractor referral services have been popping up more and more, and are often an easy way to find reliable contractors and to get them to come over quickly for a quote. RenoQuotes.com is one of the most straightforward services of this type. Simply fill out the project registration form and wait for contractors from our network to contact you.
We send the project to a maximum of 4 contractors, which means that you will not be bombarded with offers. To be a part of our network, contractors must go through a vetting process where we check their licences and their reputation for you. This means that you can save time and money by limiting your search time and by comparing different quotes.
RenoQuotes.com is entirely free for the clients. Contrary to other companies operating in this field, we do not charge a commission to our contractors. To learn more about how we work, check out our FAQ page.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.
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