What to Look for When Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor can be stressful and time-consuming. It takes time to find the perfect one to meet your needs and budget. Not to mention, many things can go wrong if you hire the wrong contractor – from poor workmanship or not finishing the job, to actual fraud.  Finding a highly skilled, reliable, and trustworthy professional to come into your home is very important.

Ask Around: When you’re on the prowl for hiring a contractor, ask your friends and family if they know of any reliable contractors that they have previously worked with. Keep in mine word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind. You can trust your friends and family to provide you with their most honest opinion.

Do your Research: Most homeowners conduct a web search to see what other customers have to say about a contractor. When your online search is done correctly, it can provide beneficial insights for the homeowner. When conducting an online search to read reviews about a contractor, it is important to go to a variety of reliable review sites. When researching, look at sites such as Guild Quality, TrustedPros, and the Better Business Bureau. Review sites that are credible will verify that homeowner has actually used the contractor’s services, and guarantees that the reviews are not spam or competition that may be trying to ruin a company’s business by posting anonymously.

Licensing: To narrow down possible candidates, request each contractor’s business license number and check it out with the local licensing office. The law requires contractors to have a license. By contacting your municipal licensing bureau, you can confirm that the company has a license, how long it has been in business and whether any complaints have been filed against it in the past.

Workers Comp: Another basic requirement that every homeowner should inquire about is the provision of Workers’ Compensation (WSIB); a type of medical insurance also known as workers comp. Any sub contractor hired by the contractor should also be covered.

Interview: There is nothing wrong with meeting and interviewing with multiple contractors to find the perfect fit. When outsourcing home improvement projects, you know you’re going to be spending a lot of money on the services, and a lot of time investing in the improvement. It’s imperative to find a contractor who not only meets the needs of your project but also fits with your personality and vision. The last thing you want on a big project is to work with someone you don’t get along with. Keep your options open and meet with as many contractors as it takes to find the right one. This will make the project easier in the long run.

Tip: Once you interview and have selected your contractor candidates, ask for them to share their references with you, in order to conduct further research.

We know hiring a contractor isn’t easy, but with these tips, your journey to find one should be a little easier!