Deciding on a contractor is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make when renovating or building your home. And this is why so many people are left wondering, “How do I find the best contractor?”
There’s no hard and fast way to guarantee that the contractor you decide on will perform excellent work at a fair price. But there are a few steps you can take to minimise risk and ensure you end up with a sturdy, stunning home that’ll last you years and years.
Here’s our advice on finding the best contractor.
How do I find the best contractor?
Here’s what we suggest:
Step 1: Ask people you trust
Seek out recommendations from friends and family. Ask them about their experience. Was it good, bad, or just plain ugly? Real-life feedback from real-life friends can prove invaluable.
Step 2: Do your research
Jump on the computer and perform a Google search. Browse online business directories. Narrow down your options to three to five possible contractors.
Step 3: Make a few phone calls
Now, it’s time to reach out and chat with potential contractors in your area. Ask the right questions (more on that below), and try to gauge the attitude, work ethic, and trustworthiness of the person on the other end. Think of this step as conducting a job interview.
Step 4: Check licenses
Do not skip this step. The best tradespeople are fully licensed and insured – and they’re not afraid to show you proof.
Step 5: Ensure all details are included
Before signing a contract, read it carefully. This is your opportunity to protect yourself against nasty surprises and hidden fees. If you’re happy with the contract, go ahead and sign!
What questions should I ask a contractor?
Before hiring a contractor, we suggest asking the following questions. We’ve included some not-so-common questions here, too.
Are your quotations transparent?
It’s all about protecting yourself. Make sure that the quotes delivered are upfront and transparent – you should know what you are paying for and how much it costs.
Have you ever done business under a different company name?
A contractor with a mountain of 1-star reviews can quickly and easily change their business name and shed their poor reputation. Don’t be fooled – double-check that you’re dealing with a long-running, legitimate business.
Can I see your insurance policy?
If something goes wrong on the job, you don’t want to be liable for the associated costs. Ask to view a copy of the contractor’s insurance policy – they should be happy to oblige.
What is your license number?
Again, this must-ask question gives you peace of mind that the contractor you hire is qualified and certified. Some contractors even display their license number on their website or business directory listing.
Related: How to get your business online
What are the qualities of a good contractor?
A good contractor boasts the following qualities:
- They should be upfront about costs, what’s possible, what isn’t, and how long the project will take.
- Excellent communication. You’re investing your hard-earned money into the project – you deserve to be kept up-to-date every step of the way.
- The best contractors are natural-born problem solvers. They don’t shy away from a challenge.
- The best contractors treat their clients with the utmost care and respect.
Find a tradesperson near you
Use our online business directory to find tradespeople in your local area.