HOME IMPROVEMENT GUIDE: How to find a REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR
By Kerri Bartlett, Assistant Editor
With temperatures getting higher this spring as well as home improvement ambitions, homeowners might feel ready to tackle virtually any project, but might need a trusted expert to help guide the way. Finding the right contractor can help one orchestrate home improvement projects, however large or small from the uncertain beginning to the triumphant end.
A few expert local builders shared their thoughts on taking the first step in finding a qualified contractor to accommodate any home improvement need.
Find a Certified Builder
Builder “Go through the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee to fi nd a Certifi ed Builder,” said David Crane of Crane Builders, LLC. “Builders have to go through a rigorous process to become certifi ed with HBAMT, so those builders will have the experience, expertise and viable finances including proper insurance to perform specific projects.”
Most Certifi ed Builders by HBAMT are also licensed by the state, he said.
“Professional home builders are experts at the logistics and timing of building a home. It is an exact science to make sure permits are applied for, materials are ordered and delivered, subcontractors are hired, utility deposits are paid, and inspections are scheduled at exactly the right time. Even if you’re very organized, it is a process where many things can go wrong and a delay could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress,” said Jimmy Franks, president of Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee.
Crane also warned that just in case expensive project mishaps take place, a contractor should have proper insurance backing to cushion the blow.
“You want a contractor with general liability insurance as well as workman’s compensation insurance so that if any problems arise, you will be covered,” he said.
Get a Referral
Get referrals from friends who have done similar projects said Crane.
“If a friend had a positive experience with a $5,000 bathroom remodel, but you want a $20,000 home addition, their contractor might not be the best choice,” said Crane. Crane and Mike Dillon of Dillon Construction, LLC, explained that homeowners should make sure that they talk to friends and family who have gone through similar projects while searching for a contractor.
“Also, make sure that the contractor can provide references for similar jobs,” said Crane.
The more jobs that a contractor has completed in a particular genre or skill set, the more successful the outcome, experts said. Find a contractor with excellent communication skills. According to Dillon, a contractor should have a high degree of professionalism, integrity, punctuality and most importantly good communication skills.
“A project won’t work without good communication skills. Contractors have to convey information properly and accurately to all parties concerned in the project,” Dillon said.
Posted on: 4/5/2013