Hiring professionals to improve your home can be expensive, but it also offers many benefits that can save you time and stress in the long run. Hiring professionals will also make sure the work gets done properly, which means you don’t have to worry about calling in the plumber or electrician yourself again any time soon (or ever). To help you find the right professional home improvement service, here are some tips to help make your search easier and more successful.
Speak with an Expert
There’s no shame in asking your friends, family, and neighbors about their home improvement experiences. You can often learn a lot from them about what to expect from various contractors and about their favorite local services. If you don’t have any connections in your area yet, try calling an unrelated company to ask them who they would recommend. Many companies, even those that aren’t direct competitors with each other, will be happy to connect you with a referral if it means securing future business.
Check Their Website
When you’re looking to work with a professional home improvement service, it can be difficult to tell whether they’re legit or not. That’s why you should check their website before you start looking at customer reviews—it can give you a good idea of what kind of experience you’ll have with them. Are they posting new projects regularly? If so, that means they’re likely booked up and could be too busy to take on new customers. Looking for a well-designed site is also a good sign: most legitimate businesses want their online presence to look professional as well as functional. Also, don’t let low prices make your decision.
Research Their LinkedIn Profile
When you are in search of a home improvement professional to hire, it’s important to do some research on that person or company. Make sure you have an actual human being behind the company. If a company does not have a LinkedIn profile, be cautious and proceed with caution as there is often a reason why they don’t list themselves publicly on social media sites. On LinkedIn, scroll down and check out their recommendations from former clients. Also, make sure to read their work history and what types of past projects they have worked on. If possible, contact some previous clients that were willing to recommend them through LinkedIn. Your goal is to get an idea of how good their work is and if they will be able to handle your specific project needs based on experience.
Check Their Reviews
Take a look at what others have to say about your potential contractor. Both Yelp and Angie’s List offer ratings, so you can go online to see what other customers have said. Of course, you’ll also want to ask for references and contacts, if you have them, but online reviews are a good way to get feedback in real-time. That way you know before they begin work whether they’re up-to-snuff with their skills or if their work needs improvement (in which case it might be worth asking them to re-do parts of their project before paying).
Who is Will Be Doing the Work?
Having an idea of who will be doing the work you need to be done is important. Although all professionals are indeed trained to do certain jobs, some specialize in one area and have more experience than others. For example, if you’re looking to add a deck to your home, look for a contractor who specializes in decks and can draw from years of experience. The last thing you want is to hire someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing! On top of that, general contractors and specialized contractors charge different rates for their services—so make sure you know what you’re getting into before hiring someone to start working on your home. The best way to get a head start on finding reputable companies?
Are They Licensed?
Before you hire a professional home improvement service, be sure to check their credentials. The services you’re looking to have done are typically licensed in one of two ways: One license, which is good in multiple states, or a license specific to your city or state. For a few thousand dollars, licensing can seem expensive. However, it’s not uncommon for unlicensed contractors to wind up paying thousands or tens of thousands more when they receive fines from authorities because they weren’t licensed. Your safest bet is always to hire a professionally licensed contractor from an established company that specializes in home improvement work. Be sure that both your state and local government offices issue licenses—not all do! If not, check if another organization does so.
Get a Free Quote
Getting a free quote is an important step in finding and hiring a home improvement contractor. There are some pros and cons to getting quotes online, but if you know what to look out for, you can make sure you’re getting a fair deal from your contractor. Make sure you get at least three quotes from different contractors before making your final decision on who to hire. You can find free home repair estimates by asking around – word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find a professional local contractor. You could also ask friends and family members if they have any recommendations – they might even be able to refer you directly!
Get it in Writing
If you’re looking to improve your home, be sure to get a proposal from any contractor you hire. This may seem like a no-brainer, but every year thousands of homeowners fall victim to deceptive contractors who end up overcharging them or not delivering on their promises. Avoid wasting time and money by requesting an itemized estimate so you know what work will be done, how much it will cost and when it will be completed. And don’t let price dictate your decision—if a higher price is due to experience or materials, go with it. You can always negotiate down after paying someone once they’ve done a good job.