Hiring a contractor can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks in making those house plans you paid such good money for from a drawing on paper to a 3D building. Most people never know what to look for and will often hire the first company in the phone book that has the word "contracting" in the name. This can lead to some major problems, however, since not all contractors are qualified or even able to handle all aspects of creating your new space. Keep reading for some helpful hints on hiring the right contractor to get things done.
1. Know What Type of Contractor You Need
If you've bought one of those pre-made homes and you just need someone to rewire the basement into a man cave so you can watch the big screen with your buddies, you don't need to hire a whole construction crew. One electrician will work just fine. Conversely, don't expect every company with "contractor" in the name to be able to handle everything from drywalling to plumbing. Many only handle one or the other so make a list of what needs doing and hire the appropriate number of people.
2. Beware of Cheap
Most people are staggered by contractors' estimates of how much it will cost to get the job done. While getting multiple estimates and picking the cheapest one is solid business sense, beware of any estimates that seem too good to be true. Some contractors will cut corners to save money and you could end up with a new house that's not up to code or that no agent will be able to unload for you. A sure sign that something's fishy is if most of your estimates are clustered around a central figure and one is widely outside of it. For instance if your quotes are $4,000, $3,900, $4,100, and $2,000, you know to be careful of the last figure.
4. Codes Exist for a Reason
You've bought a property lot or maybe power of sale has been passed to you. You're ready to get started but first you've got to sort out the outflow pipes. While you may not understand why you can't just dig a hole under your house and let the wastewater flow into it, the people who enacted the code knew that this was not only damaging to the environment but would also rot away your floors. Building codes aren't just something dreamed up by bureaucrats to give you a headache while you try to get your house built - they're necessary standards of safety, so don't be tempted to cut corners and do it yourself.
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5. Trust People Your Friends Trusted
If you've never hired a contractor before and you're worried your beloved property might end up on Holmes on Homes as an example of disreputable contracting work, you might be tempted to hook visiting carpenters up to a polygraph to make sure they're honest. But you don't have to go to such extremes. Ask around among your friends, family, acquaintances, and co-workers and see who they hired when they had work done and ask to view it yourself. Many contractors will actually put up signs outside their worksites to easily identify them to potential new customers. Take a look at the work and if you like it, call them.