In The Design Studio: Tips For Selecting a Contractor

This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact Anna at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on HouzzPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

When picking a contractor, it can be difficult to know where to begin, whom to interview and finally who to hire. Here is a list of my top tips and things to look for when you are selecting your contractor.

References: Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for references. You will get the best references from these people and you may be able to see the contractor’s work before speaking with them.

Verify Your Contractor: When hiring a contractor, you want to use your inquiry skills. Verify your contractor’s quality of his work and lines of communication. Keeping lines of communication open will help reduce the stress. You will know how your project is progressing and what are the next steps are.

Interview A Few Contractors: It might be seem a bit time consuming, but we recommend interviewing a few contractors. You want to make sure that while they are in your home, they will “fit” in.

Licensed, Insured, Bonded:  Check all of your contractor’s credentials and verify their insurance coverage. It is also a good idea to know what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance and what your contractor’s business insurance covers. Ask your contractor to submit a Certificate of Insurance when you hire them with your name and address on it.

Talk About Repairs: Check with your Contractor for what kind of warranty they offer on their labor. Make sure what they will and will not do is in your contract when it comes to repairs and if anything changes from the original contract, try to get that in writing too.

Assume Nothing: You will want to get all the details of your agreement in writing, down to the last wall plate. This is the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Don’t Let The Price Be Your Decision Maker: The saying, “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to contractors. The price of a service reflects quality. Sometimes, the better deal is more expansive in the long run, because the cheaper contractor could take longer, “forget” to finish, or will require avoidable repairs later. Someone who is well established and has quality work may seem like more money up front, but will be less costly in headaches and aggravation latter. We believe that’s priceless.

Be Upfront About Your Home Improvement Budget: You will save yourself and your contractors much time by being completely honest about your budget. It does not benefit you or your contractor to hire someone you can not afford.

The Deposit: Never pay more than 50% off the total price for a deposit.

The Bill: When paying the final bill, know that your job is not complete until all building inspections are satisfied by the proper authorities and yourself. Once inspections are passed and you are satisfied with the work, sign the certificate of completion. Once that is signed, pay your final bill.

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