With spring right around the corner, many of us are thinking about sprucing up our homes and yards. If you are looking for a professional to help with your projects, be sure to take appropriate
steps to hire a trustworthy and competent contractor.
What to look for in a contractor
Whether it be a lawn care company, a painter or carpenter, before you hire someone make sure they are licensed and insured. Most municipalities won’t issue a permit if a contractor isn’t licensed. Even if your work doesn’t require a permit a licensed contractor is a must. Check to make sure the contractor has appropriate insurance to protect you, your property as well as the contractor if something unexpected were to occur. It is always a good idea to check your homeowners policy to see what type of coverage you already have in the event of an accident or damage to your property. You should also let your insurer know you are having work done at your home.
Where to find a competent contractor?
Word of mouth is a good way to start your search. Check with neighbors, friends and relatives for the names of contractors they’ve used. Ask them questions, such as if the contractor is reliable. Do they show up for work on time? Was the price they charged reasonable? Does the contractor take steps to clean up at the end of the day? Was the customer satisfied with the quality of work done at their home and would they hire the contractor again? Also ask potential contractors to provide references of recent customers.
Before hiring anyone, make sure to get an estimate as to the scope of the work, the materials to be used and the length of time the project entails. At least two, if not three, estimates are always a good idea. Keep in mind, the cheapest estimate is not necessarily the best. Before any work begins, make sure you sign a contract that includes the scope of work, warranties on labor and material and payment schedules. Contractors often ask for a down payment, especially if a substantial amount of material is to be purchased. That said, never pay for the bulk of the job upfront. Changes to jobs often occur. Make sure the contractor knows they must first get your approval for any changes. Get a revised contract before allowing any additional work to begin.
While the project is ongoing…
Make sure you know the contractor’s work schedule. Give workers access to your home if you can’t be there while the work is being done. If that is the case, lock doors to certain areas you want to make sure stay private. It’s also good practice to keep your valuables and personal papers stashed away while someone is working inside your home. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house while work is being done, ask a friend or family member to stay while you are away.
Remember, your home is one of your most important assets. Keep it safe by hiring competent, licensed contractors. You’ll sleep better at night. At Delco Alarm Systems, we want to ensure your home is protected. Contact us for information on how to remotely oversee construction projects at you home.