How to Hire a Home Improvement Contractor

Cecil County Home Improvement Contractor

How to Hire a Home Improvement Contractor

Remodeling, adding on, or just sprucing up your home is an exciting time. But hiring the wrong home improvement contractor can turn it into a nightmare. While we think everyone in Cecil County should hire us, we couldn’t possibly handle all of the home remodeling, roofing, siding, and home addition projects being done in the county at any one time. So we’re offering some tips on how to hire the home improvement contractor who is right for your project.

  1. Ask friends, family and coworkers for recommendations. Ask which home improvement contractor they worked with on their new roof, siding, home addition, deck, etc. Were they happy with the job the contractor did and was it done on time and on budget? Try for at least 3 names of companies.
  2. Google the home improvement contractors you have recommendations for. But it’s also OK to Google just generally, to see who else pops up in your area. Read the reviews of the company. You can generally disregard anonymous reviews where the person didn’t leave their actual name. Check out their company websites. Do they offer the services you’re looking for? Make sure they are licensed and insured. The longer they’ve been in business, the better. Contractors who do shoddy work usually don’t last long. Do they have special offers you can use?
  3. Call them or contact them through their website to get an estimate. Pay attention to if you get a person to answer the phone during business hours, or how quickly someone responds to your message or email. You want to work with someone who has good communication skills and responds quickly.
  4. Get a written estimate. When they come to your home to visit, make sure you get a written estimate. Some contractors may hand print an estimate while others will mail it to you after they have done some research. While you are talking with them, are they explaining how they will approach your project? Do they make recommendations that will increase your energy efficiency or save you money in the long run? It’s OK to ask them to work up two different estimates, based on different materials or scope of project. Also make sure they give you an estimated start date and lay out how they will be paid. You can expect to make a payment up front for them to buy supplies, etc. but that should generally be no more than 1/3 of the total price. Future payments should be spelled out.
  5. Read the fine print. Most contracts today specify that the final price may change, due to unforeseen circumstances such as availability of weather, materials, discovery of damage that needs to be repaired before the project can proceed (think mold, wood rot, water damage) etc. Honest home improvement contractors will spell that out ahead of time in their contract.
  6. Compare apples to apples. Compare the estimates side by side. A lot of times, prices are comparable within a few hundred dollars for a large project. If that’s the case, it may come down to who you liked best, who had the best reviews, or smaller stuff. If someone comes back with an estimate that is way higher than you had budgeted for, you can probably rule them out. If you’re lucky, the low bid will be the company you want to work with. But don’t automatically go for a low-ball estimate, because it may mean they left something out and will want to charge you extra later on. If you have questions regarding the various estimates, call each contractor to get answers before making your decision on which home improvement contractor to hire.
Once your project has started, be sure to stay in close communication with your contractor, so you are fully aware of anything you need to do, or changes to the project plan that need to be made. And have fun with it!Call the Dank Banks Company at 410-392-9700 for a home improvement contractor you can trust to get the job done right. We are a licensed general contractor offering remodeling services and handyman services in Cecil County. Serving Elkton, Rising Sun and North East Maryland areas.