Choosing a Contractor for Home Improvements

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Take your time choosing a contractor for a home improvement project. No matter how small your project, taking the time to hire someone who offers high quality home contractor services is well worth your time and effort.

When choosing a contractor, look for someone who is willing to listen to your thoughts on the project and wants you to take an active role in designing your home improvement plan.

Finding a Home Improvement Contractor Online trade associations and home improvement websites often include databases that list contractor services by geographic area. Such sites include contact information, customer feedback and licensing information.

Your state Department of Commerce will include a home improvement contractor database, which is an excellent resource for verifying a contractor's licensing information.

Contractor Warning Signs

Sometimes things just don't seem right with a home improvement contractor. In such cases, trust your instincts and keep looking. You want to hire a contractor you can trust.

When choosing a contractor, watch for the following red flags:

  • Addresses cannot be identified
  • Makes unsolicited visits or phone calls offering contractor services
  • Not affiliated with well-known trade associations
  • Offers bargain prices but is unwilling to sign a contract
  • Refuses to provide references
  • Unwilling or unable to verify insurance and licenses
  • Uses high-pressure sales tactics to intimidate you into hiring him.

The Best Contractor Services

An honest contractor is willing and able to verify her licensing and insurance information. The contractor can provide references on request, and can produce a portfolio of previous work. Be sure to ask if she has experience with projects similar to your own.

Interview several contractors and ask for an estimate from each one. Don't assume the cheapest estimate is the best choice. A detailed estimate that explains all contractor services and describes the materials needed for the project in detail is a positive sign. Lowball estimates could indicate a contractor who provides low quality work.

Always insist on a contract when choosing a contractor. The contract should include a detailed inventory of required materials, a project schedule with a firm completion date, a payment schedule and a list of all contractor services, including clean-up services. Contracts protect both homeowners and contractors. Be very suspicious of any home improvement contractor who tries to work without a contract.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!

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