How to Hire a GOOD Contractor: Five Simple Tips

Many factors have made 2020 an interesting year. We are now fully understanding the cause and effect that a global pandemic has on many industries. While some industries such as travel and entertainment have been devastated, others, such as home improvement services, have been remarkably busy. You may notice when walking the aisles of Home Depot or Lowes that the building materials are extra expensive and all too often, out of stock. This is because many families are coming to grips with the fact that they will be stuck within their four walls a lot more than they are accustomed. Suddenly their 2020 family vacation budget has turned into their 2020 home renovation budget.

This sudden increase in contractor demand coupled with a large quantity of people who recently lost their jobs has resulted in quite a few underqualified “contractors” bidding on and getting jobs that are out of their skill level. Today, we wanted to talk with you about the ways you can avoid hiring a bad contractor!

Here are five simple tips to help you hire a good and reputable contractor:

Do not hire the first available contractor – Think of hiring a contractor like you are interviewing for a job. That is because it is exactly what you are doing. You are hiring this person, and their crew, to work for you! Make sure that you get quotes from multiple contractors and make sure they are all in the same ballpark in terms of estimates of cost and time.

Do not just go with the cheapest price – Just like many things in life, you get what you pay for. A good contractor will know their worth and will charge a premium. Choosing the more expensive contractor can end up saving you money in the long run. Many inexperienced contractors will underbid a job and then tack on more costs as the project progresses. Worst case, it will not be done correctly and will need to be redone. Pro Tip – good contractors DO NOT enjoy getting called in to fix someone else’s mess ups after the fact, it can get costly.

Have a written contract – This should go without saying however, many underqualified contractors will try to get a job going on a handshake deal. They will make you feel comfortable about the project to start but without defining the terms (cost, duration, design, etc.) the details can start to get fuzzy very quickly. Then you have found yourself in a position where you have handed over some of the up-front costs and you are not seeing the results you have been promised.

Make sure they are licensed – Unfortunately, during times like these where many good contractors are booked for a while and people want to get their projects done quickly, others will step up and try to get the available projects even if they are not qualified. Building contractors need to go through an exhaustive process to get and maintain their building license. It is your responsibility to ensure that the contractor that you hire is in fact licensed. Sure, most will tell you that they are assuming that you will not do your due diligence and verify their claim. You can easily verify their state license in Michigan by visiting:https://aca-prod.accela.com/LARA/GeneralProperty/PropertyLookUp.aspx?isLicensee=Y&TabName=APO

Are they recommended by anyone you know? Ask your friends and neighbors if they have any suggestions for contractors. Hire a contractor who has successfully completed a project that someone else can vouch for. Ask them how the contractor dd in terms of delivering on promises. Ask them about the quality of the work, the quality of the crew and the responsiveness to any concerns. Many times, when a contractor knows that you have been recommended by word of mouth, they want to keep that good reputation by providing quality service

If you are having any trouble with a contractor or need a building contract drafted and/or reviewed, we are more than happy to assist here at Tilchin & Hall PC. Give us a call at 248-349-6203 or send us a message below for more information.

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