Thursday, September 28, 2017

Top 3 Tips to Find the Best Contractor

Planning for a new home remodel can be stressful enough, but add on top of that the stress of searching for a trustworthy contractor and some homeowners become so overwhelmed that they don't even know where to begin.  Today we're going to share with you an article by Zillow, with the Top 3 Tips for finding the best contractor for the job.

Personal Referrals
Homeowners should talk to family, friends, and co-workers about reliable companies. It's a great way to get a personal testimonial from a trusted source. Also, keep an eye out for neighbors' projects that seem to be going well. 
Advantages of personal referrals:
  • Referring friend or family member may have already shopped around to find the best offer in the area
  • Their opinion of the contractor's service is trustworthy
  • Homeowners can view the quality of the work
Disadvantages of personal referrals:
  • Homeowners may not need same type of work done on their house
  • Friend or family member may be able to afford a higher budget
  • Friend or family member may have a different style of house or be in a different neighborhood

Phone Books/Directories

Homeowners can use a local directory to look up a contractor. Yellow pages and white pages have anything from a basic listing, which has the company name and phone number, to a full-page advertisement, which lists the company's details and full range of services.
Advantages of phone book:
  • Homeowners can choose from companies at their own pace.
  • Homeowners are able to call as many companies as they would like.
  • Homeowners can review company details in advance to determine how close they are, possibly how big the company is, and what services are offered.
Disadvantages of phone book:
  • Homeowners have to call each company individually, describe their requirements, and answer the same questions.
  • Homeowners tend to only call one or two companies. Receiving fewer bids on a project could mean the homeowner will end up paying a higher price.
  • No direct referrals from trusted friends or family members to rely upon.

Online Referrals

For online referrerals, check with professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which has its own certification process for contractors. Zillow also offers a free professional directory where you can find the pro you need, where you live.

There are also host of online companies that provide contractor referral services. Homeowners can post their project on these Web sites and let a set number of contractors contact them. It's usually a free service for the homeowner.  One excellent site to find local contractors, though be sure to look into references and liabilities, is Craigslist - this is one of many.
Advantages of online referral services:
  • Homeowners will receive multiple bids, which allows them to get the best rate on the work.
  • Homeowners only have to post their project requirements once and answer questions one time, which saves time.
  • Homeowners may be able to find additional online resources, such as financing and informational articles.
Disadvantages of online referral services:
  • The Web site may not be a trusted resource. (Check if any complaints have been filed to the Better Business Bureau.)
  • The online referral service may not have a contractor, in their network, close to the homeowner.
  • No direct referrals from trusted friends or family members to rely upon.

Contact Christi at 805.682.2226 for more information.  We look forward to speaking with you soon! 

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