How to Make Sure You Hire a Great Contractor
Life can always surprise you with unexpected twists and turns. A broken window, flood or windy afternoon can mean expensive unexpected repairs. In these times of high stress, we need to find someone to help us repair our home. This is usually a contractor or tradesman. These are such one-off purchases, sometimes very sudden, so we don’t always think of how to get the best possible one.
Well, what actually makes a great contractor? We won’t all agree on the specifics, but some general rules are true for everyone. You want someone experienced, trustworthy and knowledgeable. Unfortunately, charm and sales techniques can sometimes mask a lack of expertise and good will, so it’s up to you to figure out whether your prospective contracted company or individual is the right fit for you.
Don’t stress! It’s not super complicated. Here are some general rules to follow to avoid scams, posers and all-around scumbags.
Prepare yourself well
The key to winning a race is to be one step ahead of your competition every step of the way. It’s sad to say but companies are often in competition with you in the sense that they have information you do not, so they can control the direction of your negotiations and conversations to seal the best deal for them. Avoid this by gathering all the information about the job you need doing.
There are so many resources online you can use if you want to learn about different window types, why you should choose one kind of paint over another, whether it would be worth it to open up your kitchen or how to create a low-cost eco-garden in your home. The content is there for you to consume, so go find it and arm yourself with information so you can be in control of the sales process and in a position of strength once you contact someone to help you.
Compare many tradesmen
We all know that comparing quotes is the best way to save money. But how can you use this process to actually get the best contractor ever? Make sure to not only compare offerings based on how much they cost. These days, there’s so much information online about companies and their services that you can easily do a side-by-side comparison of everything they offer, how long they’ve been in service and what other people are saying about them.
It pays to be informed, and in 2018, it’s free to inform yourself. It just takes a little bit of impetus, but wouldn’t you want to save money and also have a great experience with your home improvement jobs? Yep, of course you would. So sit down with a coffee and start sifting through Facebook profiles and websites. Look out for people you think you’d personally get along with and go from there!
Get a detailed plan
Not knowing the process or the plan for your project puts you in a bad position when you’re working with others. You don’t really want to feel in the dark or confused about how exactly your new wardrobe is going to fit through that door, how you’re going to keep everything dust-free. If you don’t know your double from your triple glazing, get a plan from your contractor.
Ask them to sit down with you and have a conversation about everything they’re going to be doing and when. This is how you continue to establish a relationship with a contractor. Of course, you do this before you sign anything (ideally, though this isn’t always possible). Being able to negotiate a plan which works for everyone is an amazing thing to do to improve your chances of having an extremely positive experience with your tradesman.
Hey, why not make a new friend! It’s well within your reach. Approach the person you’ll be working with with as much respect and kindness you would for anyone else. If you chose well, they’re definitely not out to get you. They’re here to help, so help them as much as you can too. Whether this means bringing cups of tea, putting space heaters in cold rooms or offering sandwiches around lunchtime: do kind things.
Not only will this make you feel better about the person you hired, they are also more likely to go the extra mile for you because they feel an affinity for you. Make friends with your contractor, and establish a great relationship with them. This way, you’ll feel good about your project and trust it’s in good hands.
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Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Window24