How to Hire a Contractor

2017-06-16

 

Hiring the right contractor can be the difference between getting the house of your dreams and blowing your savings on a subpar job that’s nothing like you imagined. Unfortunately finding a quality contractor isn’t as easy as it may seem, and choosing the first one you come across isn’t the best way to go about it.

A great contractor will ensure everything is taken care of and can foresee major issues before they arise. The last thing you need is to work with someone who embellishes their services and pulls off more than they can chew. You want the job done right the first time, without any hidden fees or issues.

Luckily, Gentek works with quality contractors across Canada who will blow your expectations away! They meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules to ensure top standards every single time. Check out their elite contractors here.

Here are 5 more awesome tips for hiring a contractor.

Get a Referral

One of the best ways to find an amazing contractor is to get a referral from your family or friends. If someone you know has experience with a great contractor firsthand, then you’re in luck! You can also see for yourself what caliber of work they do by visiting your friend/family member’s house and checking out the end result!

Get Multiple Estimates

Once you’ve done your research and narrowed it down to 2 or 3 of your top choice contractors, meet them face to face and ask them for estimates. Don’t just go with the lowest estimate to save money. You want the job done right, with no corners cut! Make sure their estimates are all inclusive, covering costs for the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If they leave things out to keep the cost down, that’s probably a red flag.

Look at Samples

Samples let you see a contractor’s previous work to ensure it’s up to par for what you’re looking for. You can check out their quality of work as well as their creativity and the variety of work they’ve done. Although this isn’t the only thing you should base your decision on, samples are a good indicator of what kind of job you can expect.

Visit Their Jobsites

You want to ensure you hire a contractor who is going to respect your property. The best way to know this? Visit a couple of jobsites they’re working on currently to see how the contractor works. Is the jobsite safe and clean? Are the workers respectable and careful around the house? If you go with a referral, you can ask them how the contractor treated their house. These are important things to consider when choosing a contractor since they will be in your house for a substantial period of time.

Do Your Homework

Make sure you’re educated when it comes to your home renovations. Know what permits you need and what regulations need to be followed. Your contractor should know and follow all of these. Also check up on your contractor’s certifications. You must hire a licensed, bonded and insured contractor and make sure their credentials are legitimate.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, keep these 5 tips at front of mind! It’s better to do it right from the start than to start all over again after a bad renovation.


Every Homeowner’s Challenge: Tips On Finding The Right Contractor

“If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” Canada’s Steve Smith made this quote famous as his alter ego Red Green on the long-running TV show. As someone who doesn’t fit comfortably in either category, I’d like to add a line: “If you’re neither handsome nor handy you should at least generate enough income to hire a contractor for those necessary home improvement and maintenance projects.”

If you’ve achieved that much, the key is to get good at choosing the right contractor. That’s something anyone can learn. In fact, thanks to the folks at Gentek, I can teach you right now. As a manufacturer of siding, windows, doors and accessories, Gentek relies on a network of premium contractors to properly install its products. In fact, if you’re using Gentek products you can plug in your postal code on our Contractor Locator page to find a local contractor that meets Gentek’s high standards.

Whatever your project, a little work at the front end to find the right contractor for your needs can save you time, money and headaches as the project progresses. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Always get at least three estimates. You’ll be amazed how different they can be.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau about companies you’re considering. Request and check references.
  • Ask around: a solid recommendation from friends or family can be worth its weight in gold.
  • Don’t pay in advance. A deposit is acceptable. Make sure you make a cheque out to a company name, not an individual.
  • Resist high-pressure sales tactics and door-to-door salesman. There’s probably a reason they have to sell so hard.
  • Get a written contract that specifies the price, work to be done and a time frame.
  • Be careful of price gouging, especially in the immediate aftermath of a storm.
  • Pay by credit card, if possible: it may give you additional protection if there’s a problem. Otherwise, pay by cheque. Never pay cash.
  • Ensure that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name and phone number.
  • All estimates, warranties and promises must be put in writing on company letterhead.
  • Ask for proof that licences and registrations are valid, the contractor and any related trades people are bonded and third-party insurance and injury insurance is in place.

Most of all, trust your gut – if there is anything that makes you uncomfortable about a prospective contractor, don’t use them. For most people, your home is your biggest investment. If you follow these tips, you will greatly increase the odds of a positive experience that will help you enjoy your home and enhance its value.

Next Time: Choosing Colours For Your Home’s Exterior