The majority of contractors are honest and trustworthy, but there will always be those who are ready and willing to run a scam and run off with your money. So how can you make sure you find a reliable and reputable contractor who keeps their promises? And how do you make sure you’re hiring the right professional for the job? Let’s take a dive into our top tips.
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Try contacting your local chamber of commerce or building trade association and ask for their recommendations.
You can also ask your insurance company, even if they’re not paying for the work. Most insurance companies have agreements with reputable local contractors. Not only can you take advantage of the review process your insurance company has performed on these companies, but you might even get a price break based on the relationship between the contractor and your insurance company.
Once you’ve researched your options, make a list of at least three highly-rated contractors you want to get a bid from and contact them directly.
2. GET CONTRACTORS’ LICENSE NUMBERS
After you create a shortlist of contractors, narrow down your list by calling and asking the contractors for their license numbers and certificates of insurance. All contractors, regardless of the state in which they operate, are required to have a business license and insurance coverage.
Having a business license number will allow you to contact your local municipality and determine whether the contractor is legally in business, while the certificate of insurance will ensure that the contractor is covered in the event anything goes wrong. Good contractors should carry both worker’s comp and liability insurance through their business. Ask to see their insurance policy so you can review their coverage.
Keep in mind that a business license is not the same as a contractor license. Each state, city, and municipality has different requirements for contractor licensing. Look up your state’s unique requirements so you know what licenses to look for from a reputable contractor.
3. ASK QUESTIONS
When it comes time to meet each contractor, it’s helpful to have a list of questions written out so you don’t forget something important. Consider asking them some or all of the following questions:
WHAT LOCAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS DO YOU BELONG TO?
After the interview, call these organizations up and check that this contractor is indeed a member in good standing.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Ask for proof for their tenure, since some fly-by-night contractors will claim “20 years experience” in the area when they actually only got into town last month.
CAN YOU GIVE ME AT LEAST 3 RECENT REFERENCES?
The keyword here is “recent.” Good contractors should be ready and willing to share the contact information of at least three homeowners they’ve worked with over the last year. If all they have are old references, it might be a sign that their work quality has dropped.
When you talk to these homeowners, ask them:
- How quickly did this contractor return your phone calls?
- Was the project completed on budget? If not, what happened?
- Did the contractor keep their promises to you?
- Was the contractor responsive to changes with the project? If there was any disagreement, what happened?
- Would you recommend this contractor to someone in your family?
4. CONSIDER DEGRAFF CONSTRUCTION
If you’re looking for the best general contractor in the Joplin MO area for your home repairs, contact DeGraff Construction today! At DeGraff Construction we specialize in all your home remodeling and handyman work. Nothing too large or small for us. Our expertise and specialization will absolutely make you feel comfortable. We want nothing more than to shelter your loved ones with a home everyone enjoys and feels comfortable in. We are a family operating business in the Joplin area.
CONTACT US TODAY!