1. Do Your Homework
Many homeowners have little knowledge of how their homes operate. Learning how your home works can save you from being taken advantage of. YouTube is your friend!!! Take a moment to educate yourself so you can make the right decision.
2. Get Multiple Estimates
This is one of the most important steps in hiring a contractor. Getting a second or third opinion can save you thousands. Take the time to call as many companies as you feel necessary. This will give you a feel for a proper diagnosis and price range.
3. Ask for References and Past Work
Reviews, resumes, and references can prevent you from making the wrong decision. Don’t be afraid to ask a contractor for all of these. A true professional will gladly provide them so you feel comfortable with their quality of work.
4. Confirm they have the Proper Credentials/Licenses/Insurance
Every state is different. But most require each contractor to have the proper license and insurance. These are in place to protect the contractor and homeowner. These documents are easy to provide. Ask for them to protect your home and family.
5. Get Everything in Writing!!
Most of the nightmares we hear of were promises that were never written down. If it is in writing, it is way easier to legally protect yourself if your contractor does not hold up their end of the deal. Get it in writing, and hold them to it.
6. DO NOT PAY UP FRONT
DO NOT PAY up front. While many contracts will require portions of the payment to be due during the process, you are opening yourself up to fraud if you deliver payment up front. There have been many horror stories of contractors taking their money and running. Don’t fall victim to this. Get your contract in writing and only pay when money is legally due.
7. Take a Deep Breath/Or a Good Night Sleep to Decide
Never feel pressured to make a decision immediately. When you are presented with multiple contractors, take a big deep breath or a night to sleep on it. Make sure you feel comfortable with your decision. This is your hard earned money. Take all the time you need to make the right decision.
8. Consult Your Local Government Office
Your local government is here to help. A simple introduction can open a world of information. Don’t be afraid to walk into your local office and start asking for help. With a humble attitude you will be surprised how much help you will receive.