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Tips for Hiring the Best Contractor for the Job

Once you post your job on Fairmarket you’re probably going to get responses from several contractors interested in doing the work. But because each Fairmarket contractor is vetted and checked thoroughly by Fairmarket, rest assured that each one is licensed, professional, and has the ability to get the job done well. So how do you choose and hire the best contractor for the job? Use these expert tips to help you narrow down your search for the right contractor for your particular project or home renovation.

Know What You Want When Hiring the Best Contractor

As the homeowner and client, you are the one who knows your needs best and is driving the process to have the project completed. For that reason, before rushing to hire or even speak to a contractor, take the time to think about the goals for the project. Understand the reasons behind why you want to remodel. Consider how you want the finished project to look. Think about the types of amenities you want, how the new renovation will look when blended with the current design, and so forth.  

Even the best contractor will approach a project from their own perspective. If you don’t have a precise direction in which you want to go, create one. By honing in and narrowing down your home renovation goals before the bidding process begins, you are better equipped to offer the contractor detailed information in regards to the exact home renovation and remodeling that you want. Without clear goals in mind, you’ll waste your time and the contractor’s time because their expertise doesn’t match with your needs.

Be Clear About What You Want But Be Flexible

Even with a clear sense of the direction in which you want your project to go, the best contractors are experts in their line of work. Chances are they have completed jobs such as the one you need. They can offer ideas and concepts that never occurred to you. Homeowners have lots of opinions and ideas in terms of their renovation projects and overall desired look of their home. However there are many times when they know best and it makes sense to listen to the best contractor and follow their direction.

While their options may not always be the cheapest, in almost every case they are providing you with the best solution in the long run. In short, they know what they are doing. Once they know your ultimate goals for the home renovation project, they will work with you and offer the best solutions to get the job done well. Know what you want but be flexible enough to listen to their expert opinions and solid options. By listening to your contractor and their advice, you are acknowledging their experience and talent in the field. This helps to avoid problems while making the entire home renovation process easier on everyone involved – especially yourself! When you are flexible and listen to the contractor you hired, it is less stressful for everyone and the job will run much smoother.

Get Multiple Bids Before Settling on the Best Contractor

Weigh your options. A good rule of thumb is to get three bids for your project before hiring. Even more bids will give you a clearer idea of how each contractor stacks up against the other. Fairmarket contractors are all the best contractor, but one might be better for your particular job than the other. Getting multiple bids will help give you a deeper and wider perspective on costs while also a better understanding of what each individual contractor can provide. Remember, less expensive is not always better. A bargain rate could indicate sub-par work from a freelance contractor while a higher bid from the contractor could indicate quality.

Do Your Own Research to Find the Best Contractor

Although Fairmarket thoroughly vets and checks all of our contractors, you may feel comfortable doing your own researching before hiring. Perhaps a relative or friend has used the contractor before? A referral is always a good sign. Also, be sure that you check the full company name and address of the contractor before hiring them. This is also a good time to investigate a contractor’s work habits and work history. Contractors often post their work on social media. They may even post reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients. You’ll also want to take time to see the contractor’s work for yourself. A firsthand look at what they have done for projects such as a basement renovation, game room, bathroom, outdoor space, and more will help you feel more comfortable and give you peace of mind about choosing the right contractor for the job.

Get an Itemized Look at the Project Before Hiring

In other words, know what you’re paying for. Ask the contractor for a break down of the entire project with a line-item costs for everything from labor and fees to materials, installation, and miscellaneous costs. This is also the time to get details on how long the job will take and if tasks such as cleanup are involved. Determine if the project will be a fixed bid or if they plan on doing a cost-plus arrangement where they charge you for labor, materials, etc. Knowing what you’re getting into before the job begins will avoid any surprise costs at the end. Be sure you have a signed contract between both parties.

Have a Strategy for Resolving Differences

Even with the smallest projects, there is often stress involved with home renovation. Because a contractor will be a part of your life for the duration of the project, you should have a strategy in place to help resolve your differences. Go with your gut and your first impression. Find a contractor with whom you feel comfortable communicating. Upon signing a contract or agreement, ask how they handle unexpected issues and differences. When it comes to material changes, unintended damage, and more, knowing this information up front can help protect both parties. Despite the stress, going into any project with a positive attitude can help eliminate arguments and open lines of communication.

Set Boundaries in Your Home

Establishing some ground rules prior to the home renovation can help you keep your sanity during the duration of the project. Let your contractor know the rules you have at your home such as those for parking, smoking locations, bathroom use and anything else that you may have concerns about throughout the project. By setting boundaries you are ensuring that everyone involved avoids conflicts.

Thoroughly Understand the Contract Before Hiring

Your Fairmarket dashboard makes it easy to communicate terms and agreements with your contractor. But, be sure before the project begins that you thoroughly read and understand your contract. The document should include start and completion dates, a complete description of the services your contractor intends to provide, any information regarding permits and building codes, fees, and township requirements. Your contractor typically handles this, but legally, you are responsible to ensure that all those documents are available prior to any work being done. The consequences of default by either party should also be clearly stated.

Develop a Professional Relationship with Your Contractor

Ask any homeowner and they will tell you that finding a good contractor can be hard. Once you find one or a few that you like, stick with them. Developing long-term relationships with your contractors means that they will already know your working style, design style, and home. They are also more likely to prioritize your needs over their newer clients and help you out in case of an emergency. And, if they aren’t available to do the job, they might put you in touch with a trusted partner who can.

The best contractor will also consider any needs you have that they can’t do and refer you to another contractor. For example, an electrician might suggest a trusted plumber they know and vice versa. In that same vein, you can help your contractor by referring friends and family to them. Referrals are always appreciated by both parties. They help the contractor have more work, while also helping friends so they don’t have to find a contractor on their own.

Find Your Next Contractor on Fairmarket

Whatever your next home renovation project, you’ll find your expert contractor on Fairmarket. We fully vet and background check all of our contractors. You can rest assured that you are getting the best contractor for the job. No job is too small or too big for the many contractors on Fairmarket. Log on and post your job today!

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