Home renovation is a major project and requires a lot of preparation and organisation. Good contractor can make this experience much smoother and create an end product that you were hoping for, however choosing the wrong person for the job might result in a terribly stressful process and leave you with a botched project. 

To avoid this experience, take your time and don’t hire anyone that you are not 100% happy with. Picking a good contractor should start by word-of-mouth search. Odds are that your friends, family or neighbours have used a contractor before and they were either happy or unsatisfied with them – either way this is great information to obtain before beginning your search. You can also do your own search online. 

How to choose the best contractor for your home renovation:

  1. Receive multiple quotes

Request at least 3 quotes from different contractors. It’s important to never take a quote over the phone but instead meet the contractor at your home. Carry out a walk-through with the potential contractor and explain in detail what changes you are looking to make and provide them with an itemised list of all the renovations to be done. This way you are most guaranteed that the quote will be as accurate as possible. When you finally receive your quotes, be wary of quotes that are too low or too high – ask for an explanation. 

2. Consider the needs of your project

When meeting with a contractor ask them if there are specific projects that they specialise in. Some contractors will be known for being extremely good at certain jobs and not so much in others. This often will be visible in their references from past projects. Consider the specific needs of your project, perhaps you need somebody who has landscaping experience or knows how to restore especially old homes. You can hire a great contractor, but if he only has experience renovating kitchens when you need a patio renovation then they’re not the right person for the job. 

3. Check paperwork

This is a crucial step to take to avoid being scammed or sued – always check if the contractor is registered and insured. Contractor’s insurance should not only cover injuries and bodily harm, but also property damage – without it you become liable if someone gets hurt or anything gets damaged. Without being extra cautious about the proper paperwork you will lose the safety net and will become a subject to scammers. 

4. Reviews and references

Be sure to check their previous work and reviews of their last clients. Most contractors will be able to provide this without an issue and be cautious of the ones that don’t. It’s even easier if you’re planning to do exterior renovations as you can simply drive by the address your contractor claims to have worked on and see if you’re happy with the way it looks. Most contractors will be able to give you contact information of the past client’s who will be able to tell you more about their process and answer your questions. 

Sometimes you can find reviews on their social media or website if they have one – though be wary as online reviews are never as reliable as a real person. 

5. Communication style

This is an easy way to check if their work style is going to fit your needs. Pay attention to how the contractor communicates with you – do they prefer a phone call or an email, how long does it take them to reply and are they avoiding your calls. Even though you shouldn’t expect to be the first priority to the possible contractor before signing a contract, their communication style will likely not change much even when you hire them. So if you like quick and honest communication, a contractor who is picking up every fifth call is not going to work for you. 

6. Meet the team

When you’re hiring a contractor – you’re hiring everyone they work with. So when interviewing a contractor ask them who they use for certain projects. If you’re planning a bigger project there is a good chance your contractor will need to hire several specialists such as plumbers, electricians etc. Make sure you are happy with the experts they hire and ask if they oversee every aspect of the renovation in-person and if they conduct a background check for all subcontractors. 

7. Availability

And lastly consider how available the contractor is. Good contractors are in high demand which means that you will either have to pay extra for them to take on your project or will have to wait several months before they free up, and if you’re not in a hurry it can be worth waiting a while for the right contractor. 

Choosing the right contractor can truly be a long and draining process, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind and a project done right. There are some horror stories most of us have heard about collaborative scams, but if you take your time, check everything off your list, confirm they are licensed and insured – you should rest assured that there won’t be any hiccups!