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How To Choose A Good Contractor (And Avoid The Bad Ones)


Cabinet refacing is typically a pretty straightforward and simple process. Replacing your doors, drawer fronts, hardware, etc is usually something you can do yourself.

Sometimes though, you may find that you need the help of a contractor. But how do you choose one? It seems like everyone is a contractor or handyman and is going to give you the best deal for the best work. There are new options popping up every day and that just adds to the confusion.

In this article, we are going to talk about what do look for in a good contractor and what to avoid when hiring one. So let's dive in!

Every Contractor Thinks They're The Best (Some Actually Are The Best)

"If you need work done then call Chuck In A Truck. Nobody can do a better job at a better price than me. Your kitchen will come alive just like in a kids movie... complete with dancing, singing dinnerware and cleaning supplies!"

Ok, maybe they don't make claims exactly like that but you have likely seen them making claims that are just as bold and often as outlandish as this. But Chuck in a truck might really be a schmuck that will leave you stuck... with poor quality work and with less money than you had.

Many contractors, however, are highly qualified and do excellent work. These contractors will have no problem whatsoever with questions about their experience and qualifications. In fact, most will be happy to talk about the work they've done and will quite likely even have pictures.

But Don't Just Take Their Word For It, Check Them Out

In addition to asking the right questions about their experience and qualifications, you can very easily check them out to see what experiences other customers have had. While customer reviews probably need to be taken with a grain of salt, they will still follow a trend that will tell a story about who you are really dealing with.

Also, look them up with organizations like the Better Business Bureau and other consumer protection agencies to get an idea of how they deal with complaints. This will also give you an idea of their character.

You can even talk to friends and family to see if anyone you know has ever used or knows anything about this contractor. This will give you first-hand accounts that you can use to help you determine if this contractor is worth hiring.

Just make sure and do your research.

You Get What You Pay For... Usually

A lot of contractors will offer you the world so that they can get the job. However, we've all heard the phrase "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

If you have several contractors bidding on the job (You should. Don't just take the first bid that comes along) and one of the bids seems shockingly lower than the others, there is probably a reason.

Sometimes the reason for a lower bid can simply be found in the scope of work and the higher bids just include more than the lower bids. There are many legitimate reasons for dramatic price differences.

Sometimes though, that stark difference in price is exactly what you think it is. Poor quality work and/or a rushed job. So don't fall for the idea of giving the job to the lowest bidder.

The opposite is also true though. Just because a bid is high doesn't mean you are getting more or better work. Sometimes a high bid just means an overpriced contractor.

The thing to do is to make sure that you are comparing the bids to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Pay attention to what is included in the bids to determine which is really the best deal.

Documentation, Documentation, Documentation!

Well, it doesn't have quite the same ring as "Location, Location, Location!" However, it is an idea that is every bit as critical.

Your contractor can tell you they'll do something but the reality is if you don't get it in writing, then you might find that you're on your own if they fail to deliver. A contract will help you to hold them accountable if things go wrong.

Likewise, that same contract protects them too, so make sure that you honor your obligations as well (availability, meetings, payment schedules, etc).

Have A Bad Feeling? Don't Ignore It.

When you hire a contractor to have something in your home remodeled, you are allowing someone into your home who will be spending considerable time there. This person will likely be there at times when you are not, so you need to feel like you can trust them.

All the research in the world isn't worth ignoring your gut for. If the contractor is pushy, overbearing, or just makes you feel uncomfortable, then you may want to pass on their services. You need to feel like you can ask questions any time you need to or check on the progress they are making.

If you feel like you can't trust them or that you aren't going to be able to easily have open communication with the contractor, then don't hire them.

Wrapping Up

Finding the right contractor to help with your home improvement project can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With the tips provided here, you should have a better idea of how to choose a contractor that will be the best fit for you and your project.

If you always make sure to get multiple bids, check out the contractors before hiring them, make sure to get everything in writing, and listen to your gut, you will be able to make a more informed decision about who you are bringing into your home.

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