When you are looking for a contractor for your project, you can use a five-point ranking system that is based on the five P’s: People, Process, Portfolio, Price, and Past Clients. A 0-50 ranking is ideal, but you can find more than three in your area. Ask friends and family for referrals to contractors in your area, and then assess their services based on these five components.
Checking a contractor’s BBB profile
If you’re planning on hiring a general contractor, you should look into their BBB profile. A BBB accreditation is important, but it doesn’t guarantee the work of a particular contractor. In addition to the BBB’s contractor directory, you should consider other factors as well. Specialized contractors, such as home builders, have additional requirements to meet, such as BBB Standards for Trust. To find out whether a particular contractor is BBB accredited, check out their HomeHQ profile or the links below.
Contacting past customers
Aside from online reviews, contacting past customers can give you valuable information about the quality of the contractor’s services. You can get feedback on pricing, customer service, and quality of work, as well as schedule a site visit so that you can inspect the contractor’s work in person. A contractor with 20-30 mostly positive reviews is considered to be more qualified than one with three or less. However, you may want to read the reviews carefully, as some contractors may not be honest about their performance.
It is also wise to contact past customers to make sure that the contractor has a good reputation. You should avoid questionable contractors who advertise at rock bottom prices. They may be hiding hidden costs or have other plans to leave out your project. If possible, focus on the other Ps – the contractor’s process, portfolio, and past customers – before deciding on the lowest price. A quality contractor should be more expensive than an unprofessional one.
Asking for referrals
Before you begin any project, it’s a good idea to ask for referrals. Home inspectors, interior designers, lumber yard salespeople, and other professionals often have contacts that can provide contractors in their areas. Professional referrals can be more reliable than personal recommendations, because they have nothing to lose in the event that the project doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped. Casual acquaintances, on the other hand, have little to lose, even if the referrals don’t turn out as well.
Referrals are especially valuable if they come from satisfied clients. Past customers can provide a wealth of valuable information about a contractor. Make sure to ask about the contractor’s history, what challenges they faced, and how they handled the job. If you can visit these references in person, this is a great way to confirm the contractor’s work quality. If possible, request pictures of previous projects so that you can see the contractor’s work in action.
Checking a contractor’s license
Many consumers don’t place high importance on checking a contractor’s license. However, it’s important to do so for a number of reasons. A contractor who is licensed is likely to be better versed in the intricacies of contracting, and is also more likely to understand local laws and regulations. Not all contractors are licensed, and it’s important to check this information to avoid problems later on.
The first step in hiring a contractor is to check for a license. A licensed contractor has a current and valid license, and you should always look for this information on the state’s licensing board’s website. Additionally, a licensed contractor is likely to have insurance. Finally, you should always request written references from the contractors you’re considering. When asking for references, make sure to ask them if they’re satisfied with their work and whether they kept their contracts and schedules.