Your home is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. The value of your investment can often be positively impacted by strategically selected home improvement projects. Some projects are conducive for DIY weekend warriors and home improvement hobbyists. However, other projects require hiring experts in order to ensure the job is done right, especially when trying to get the greatest return on the resell of your home. A salient example would be hiring a contractor to rewire electrical outlets.
The success of your home improvement project is highly dependent upon hiring the right contractor. The vast majority of contractors within the home improvement arena are honest and reputable. Unfortunately, as with any profession, there are unscrupulous contractors who can turn your home improvement dream into a construction nightmare. It is imperative for homeowners to take the requisite steps in order to prevent hiring the wrong contractor.
Referrals from family and trusted friends are the best route to selecting the right contractor. Researching each potential contractor's record with the Better Business Bureau is also strongly suggested. Shoddy operators most often have a poor rating with the BBB, but most homeowners fail to take this basic due diligence step which can help prevent you from making the same mistake as others before you.
Reputable home improvement contractors are willing to give you a written estimate broken out between materials and labor prior to initiating a job. Insist upon this written estimate, and avoid any contractor who refuses to provide this prior to any work commencing. Obtain several quotes when interviewing contractors, and follow up with direct questions should any quote be far less than the others. This can often be a sign that the contractor is planning on pocketing your money without fully completing the project.
Although no contractor has a crystal ball and unforeseen circumstances can arise delaying a job, always get a written estimate outlining the schedule and targeted completion date for the project. Failure to do this often leads to subsequent disagreements over what the projected time frame was and corresponding frustration on the part of the homeowner.