How to Hire a Good Contractor

How to Hire a Good Contractor

Remodeling projects can be a real challenge for homeowners. Since even small projects can be a significant monetary investment, it’s important to choose the right contractor at the right price. There are several steps homeowners can take before they choose a contractor that will save them potential headaches caused by hiccups during remodeling. Here is an easy-to-follow guide that ensures homeowners choose the right contractor for their remodeling project.

The first step homeowners should take is to shop around. Get recommendations from friends, family, or online resources to determine which companies are most reputable and dependable. Check out Yelp and Angie’s List to check customer satisfaction with different contractors. Before approaching contractors to discuss your remodel, make sure you have drawings or specs that illustrate what work you want done. It’s hard for contractors to create an accurate estimate based on vague ideas.

Before making your decision, get at least three written estimates from different contractors. Make sure each contractor does a thorough evaluation of work that needs to be done. Don’t necessarily go for the lowest bid; you want the best work, not necessarily the best price. Make sure to draw up a written contract specifying materials, warranties, timetables, subcontractors, and other important information. It is very important to make sure the contractor and subcontractors are licensed and insured. The last thing you want is to be sued for workers’ compensation after an uninsured worker gets injured on the job. Check with your insurance company to ensure you are covered from any injury or damage that may occur.

Was your home built before 1978? Many homes built before this time used lead-based paints. Lead is a neurotoxin that, when disturbed, can cause serious health complications especially for children under the age of six and pregnant women. Read up on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. Make sure your contractor is RRP Certified and takes the necessary steps to comply with the EPA’s lead containment law. Compliance involves taking serious precautions to prevent the spread of hazardous lead paint dust generated from demolition and other renovation activities. The contractor is required to give you a pamphlet explaining the harmful effects of lead paint and take steps to seal off the work area, provide personal protection for workers, and thoroughly clean every surface that has come into contact with lead dust. Ask your contractor about their strategy for addressing the RRP Rule before the project begins.

Make sure your contractor uses surface protection and dust control throughout the remodeling process. Protective coverings for valuable fixtures such as flooring, granite countertops, high-end cabinetry, doors, etc. prevent damage and help to ensure your project will be finished on time and within budget. A contractor that takes the time to protect your home’s fixtures shows that they care about your customer satisfaction. Dust generated by knocking down walls, tearing out floors and cabinets, and other demolition activities can spread throughout the home if the work area is not properly sectioned off. Make sure your contractor requires workers to wear shoe covers, uses sticky mats at entrances, and erects ZipWall dust barriers to contain dust kicked up from remodeling activities. This will ensure that the rest of your home will not be covered in dust and dirt while your remodeling project takes place.

If these simple steps are followed, your remodeling project should be free of complications. As long as you are upfront with your general contractor about project deadlines, expectations, and surface protection requirements, the remodeling project should run smoothly and be a source of pride for both homeowner and contractor. For more information about the RRP rule or surface protection recommendations, visit