With buzz surrounding Spike TV’s new show, “Catch a Contractor”, a reality show that repairs damage done to houses by bad contractors, home improvement concerned individuals are taking safety measures up a notch. Looking over the suggested tips by Skip Bedell, a contractor of 14 years experience and co-host of “Catch a Contractor”, you will see that the key is to analyze potential contractors from the same perspective a human resources department employee would analyze job applicants. It’s all about getting as in-depth as possible when it comes to research and confirming references. Here are some of the tips listed and paraphrased below:
1. Only Hire Contractors that Are Licensed
This needs to be backed up with documentation and physical license. If they’re licensed it’s easier to be redeemed from poor work as you have the option of contacting the Consumer Affairs Department or your city’s licensing bureau.
2. Do a Background Check
Research reviews, portfolio of past work, documentation, etc. to get an idea of whether or not this contractor is a quality one.
3. Conduct an Interview
It’s best to discuss before hand how a contractor will approach a project or job, what crew they may use, their past experiences with similar projects, how well they follow budget and schedule. Any concerns you have should be directly voiced during this time.
4. Ask For & Check Referrals
Call any referral numbers listed, contact past clients, and check portfolio work to make sure it’s not fake or plagiarized.
5. Witness the Contractor’s Work In Action
After checking referrals, to be absolutely sure the level of service will line up with expectations, you may want to request to watch the potential contractor work on another client’s project.
6. Gather at Least 3 Estimates
Get at least three estimates for a project to ensure a wide range of choices for comparison. But remember that the cheapest choice isn’t always the best.
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