When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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No one ever entered a home remodel expecting a disaster, but we all know someone with a remodeling horror story. Since your contractor is central to the success of your project, hiring a good one can make all the difference.
Once you start looking for a contractor, you’ll find all levels of experience and ability. Look for these five qualities that The National Association of the Remodeling Industry says are a must for qualified contractors.
Local experts you can trust.Find an ELP
No business will be around long if it has a reputation for poor service, and that goes for contractors as well. You’ll want your contractor to have plenty of experience handling projects like yours. Even better if those projects are local and you can talk to the homeowners and suppliers your contractor works with.
Licenses and insurance
Not all states require contractors to be licensed, but you can check with your state or local licensing agencies to make sure your contractor meets all the requirements. Also make sure your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance to protect you in the event of an accident on your property.
No bad rap
Some states maintain a registry of contractors to keep records of any complaints. You can check to see if your state provides this information at www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if any previous clients have filed complaints against your contractor.
Cheapest is not always best
Remodeling is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you should try to save by automatically choosing the contractor with the lowest bid. In fact, you should be suspicious of a bid that is significantly lower, since it often means inferior materials or insufficient labor are being quoted.
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When it comes to your money, Dave always recommends working with a professional with the heart of a teacher. You should expect this same level of service from your contractor as well. That means your contractor will be accessible, answer all your questions, and take the time to explain procedures or problems you’re unfamiliar with. Your contractor should listen to your needs as the homeowner and not try to push you into decisions you’re not comfortable with.
Professional Advice for Buying or Selling
For your other real estate issues, you can consult one of Dave’s real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). Your ELP is a professional in your real estate market you can trust to help you buy or sell your home. Each ELP has the heart of a teacher and the experience to help you save time and money. Contact your ELP today!