HOW TO CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR
In an area our size, knowing how to choose a contractor can be a daunting task. Many of us don’t know where to begin and rely on word of mouth. What if you are new here and can’t rely on that; what do you do? This is a question many people are dealing with moving to this fast growing area.
What to avoid when you are ready to choose a contractor
Before you move forward in hiring someone to do that built in BBQ, room remodel, pool, or anything in-between, a couple of things to consider. First off, avoid the door-to-door solicitors that offer you low costs. While some people doing door-to-door are on the up and up, many are not. Next step, don’t rush your decision. Beware of the smooth, fast talker that makes you feel that you are rushed to get started. Make sure you are getting bids from multiple people, checking those licenses and get references.
What about the service provider that shows up and lets you know they will do a free inspection of your roof, solar panels, landscaping, etc. They may claim a serious problem showed up during this free inspection and let you know what it will cost. Again, do your due diligence, get additional bids and take your time making a decision.
Do not pay in cash!
A reputable contractor will want to take a check or card. The chances of a cash paid contractor abandoning a job and leaving things half finished is a large risk. You may get offers of discounts by paying cash but that discount is not worth it if your job never gets completed.
Best practices when you choose your contractor
Before you contact any contractors, have a clear idea of what it is you want done and what your project should look like once completed.
At a minimum, get three written contracts from professionals.
Ensure that the contractors are licensed. Arizona has an incredible resource at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. You can go online and simply input the contractors business name to see if they are licensed.
You chose your contractor, now what?
The contractor you like is licensed and you are good to go! Right? Wrong! Take additional steps to eliminate addition stress during an already stressful time. Request a list of references and check on those. Contract your local building department on your project permits. While the contractor may be getting those, the burden falls on the home owner to ensure they were done. Review your estimate against your contract prior to signing for any discrepancies. Make sure the description of what is going to be done is clear and concise prior to putting your signature down. Keep all of your records of payments or changes as well as photographing progress.
Things do not go as planned…
Even when you take all of the necessary steps to choose a contractor, things can still go wrong. What do you do then? Your first step if you are not able to resolve with the contractor is to go back to Arizona Registrar of Contractors. This time you will want to file a complaint and wait for the investigator to contact you. They will go over everything in detail with you and make the steps to contact the contractor in hopes to resolve. If any legal action is needed, they will direct you to what those next steps are.
Basically, take your time with this decision and ensure that you’re working with a reputable contractor.
Contact us for any recommendations on people we have used or people you may want to avoid.