Things to Look for in Your Next Contractor

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 at 6:15am.

When we start to think about selling a home, or when we first move into one, we often think about renovations. After all, there are changes that can be made to increase the livability, and asking price, of any home. While many different small-scale renovations can be done the do-it-yourself route, many of them need to be handled by professionals. But finding the right professional can be extremely tough, so here are three things to look for in any contractor before you get them to do work on your house, condo, or property.

1. Insurance

This is one of the most common ways that unlicensed and unprofessional people cut their costs and attract people who want cheap renovations. Insurance, after all, is expensive. But in the world of contracting, its absolutely necessary. Not only does it protect you and your home from mishaps, it also ensures the workers on the project are properly protected as well. So while you could save some serious money by going with someone lacking the proper insurance, the risk to your property and the people in your home is never worth it. To avoid this, simply ask to see their proof of insurance before agreeing to any work.

2. Certificates

This one is common sense: trained professionals do professional jobs. Untrained professionals rarely can. Theres a reason plumbers, electricians, and many other skilled labourers spend four years getting their designations. Theres a lot to learn, and a lot of things to consider. Hiring handymen is a viable option for many projects, and you can save even more by getting skilled labourers to only handle their actual specialty, but never go for someone untrained for the important work. Plumbers and electricians will keep your home up to code, which is important for when house inspectors come around.

3. Good Reviews

There are people online doing work that is subpar. They get away with it because they think they can avoid bad reviews by simply dropping off the map after they finish a job. This is, thankfully, mostly untrue. The good news about the internet is it can get you information on contractors they would rather you not know, like a history of bad work, unprofessionalism, and more. Before you sign on the dotted line with anyone, do a quick Google check. Reviews will almost inevitably come up, and you can see whos been doing good work and whos going to leave you stranded.

Finding a contractor for your next project, whether youre doing some renovations before selling or fixing up an older home, can be difficult. But no matter who you get, make sure they have at least these three things. If they dont, you could end up with a few surprises that simply arent worth the money you saved.

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