A good general contractor can be hard to find, whether you're looking to do a small bathroom remodel or an entire home renovation. When it comes time for work to be done on your house you want to make sure you are hiring the best contractor for the job, but how do you figure that out? And how can you weed out the bad seeds before you sign a contract?
Get Referrals from Your Area
One of the best places to start is with referrals. Ask friends and family in your area as well as neighbors and co-workers who have had work done on their homes recently. If no one you talk to has a recommendation, then search the internet for smaller and larger residential contractors in your area.
Do Your Research
Once you have a list started, research the general contractors on your list. Use the following trustworthy sources as a starting point:
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie's List/Consumers' Checkbook/Craigslist/Yelp and other review websites
- Your local hardware or lumber store manager
Also, most states make their list of registered and licensed contractors available online to search.
When you finish your research, contact the contractors still on your list. Be prepared with a list of questions. HomeAdvisor recommends starting with three simple questions.
- Have you done work like this before?
- Do you have a list of references for me to check?
- When would you be able to start?
Get Multiple Bids
When you are making a major purchase, you look more than one place for the best product and price. Asking multiple general contractors to put together bids for the work on your house is the same thing. A general rule of thumb is to get 3 quotes and go with whichever falls in the middle of the price range.
Signs You Should Avoid a Contractor
- They come to your door. This is a solicitation tactic often used by con artists posing as contractors.
- They have bad reviews on multiple websites or a bad reputation with local businesses. Whether it's because of late payments, shoddy work, or a bad attitude, all are indicators of a bad experience.
- They will not give you a straight answer. A good general contractor is willing and able to answer whatever questions you have.
- Their bid is extremely low or high compared to the others you've received. They're either marking up their prices or using subpar materials to bring the price down. Neither one is good for you.
While finding a good contractor takes time and diligence, the end result is quality work you can enjoy for years to come.
Looking to do a renovation or bathroom remodel in the Boston area? We are here to help!
RH Blanchard is a contract and design expert with over a decade of experience in the Boston area. If you have questions about a project in or around Boston, contact us today.