Is Your Contractor the Right Person for Your Job?

Everyone wants a nice kitchen, bigger, better appointed, more light, more storage: it’s the number one remodeling trend in the US, and an important point for those buying houses. You want an open kitchen? Knock down walls and extend your kitchen workspaces. If only it were just so easy! To start your remodel, you will probably need a good contractor. What does a contractor do? They hire, supervise and coordinate the trades who will do the actual work. There are many myths surrounding the roles played by a remodel contractor. Let's take a look at some of the issues you encounter in finding a good contractor to plan, orchestrate, and ensure efficient completion of your job.

8 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
MYTH: Contacting a labor referral group like Angie's List is the best solution

Using a referral group may be the answer for some hires, such as individual plumbing companies, or other work specific trades, but remodel contractors are only rated for their company's performance, not the work performance history and quality of each individual trade working with the contractor. There's no guarantee that every aspect of the remodel will be completed correctly first time, the contractor will only insure they will fix it if anything goes wrong.

MYTH: Trust your friend's recommendation, no need to check further!

There is never a good reason to not fully check out the dates of expiration on workmen's licenses and certifications for the state where the work is being done. It is also worth the time it takes to make sure the company has complete accident and worker's compensation coverage on every employee on the job. Avoid being caught with medical expenses, if a worker with an expired policy is hurt on the property during the remodel.

MYTH: Any good contractor will hire the best trades available

So they do, only they also put them to work as much as possible and may not be available for this job. If the contractor says he's going to put his A-team on this remodel, do you know them well enough to take them on their word alone

MYTH: That guy you've seen at the coffee shop is probably fine...

No matter how you feel about it, it's always acceptable to interview the people who will be roaming inside your building or on your property. In addition to checking licenses and credentials, know their hire dates, how much experience they have, or are they just being trained on the job? Don't be timid about checking references of workers replacing those you interviewed.

MYTH: Hiring a contractor that has no home office has no bearing on their reliability

Think about this, why wouldn't a successful contractor have a business office - credit problems, legal expenses, just starting out? The is a good reason to be sure the contractor is established locally, they have more to lose if they do not guarantee their work. Be concerned that contractors who avoid direct questions with a flood of reassuring comments are possibly avoiding deeper reference checkin

MYTH: There is no safe method to hire a contractor

Getting a good start on the search for a qualified contractor is getting trusted referrals from family or close friends who have had the same type of work done. Even with glowing personal references thing can change, including the dates of expiration on licenses and insurance, so don't forget to take some time to check the important things, even with solid references

MYTH: Good references insure the best contractor for the job

Remodels are a very specific type of service, home or business owners have to interact directly with the contractor about prices, and give out personal financial information on how much they can afford. It is critical that the personality and business sense of the contractor matches that of the property owner.

MYTH: A good handshake is an indicator of trustworthiness

No matter how pleasant or intelligent the contractor appears on interview, always get every significant - and even insignificant work point in a written estimate and contract.