When it comes time to hiring a contractor or handyman to do work on our
homes, we all envision that it will get done right. No one wants to experience
those horror stories you see on TV or hear from others about how
the job never got done properly or they got ripped off. I certainly have
my share of stories to tell about the mistakes I made when hiring a
contractor or handyman.
It is important to find the right person who will do an outstanding job
with your hard earned dollars. It takes time to find the right
person, however, we tend want to get it going as soon as possible.
I am currently looking for contractors to work on one of my rental
properties out of state. Since it is out of state, I am doing a great deal of
research on the internet to find the best contractors to get the job done the
way I want it.
With the advent of the internet, it has made it easier to do due diligence and find
the background information on contractors and also read what others
have experienced from them.
Here are some sure signs to look for when getting estimates:
1. Do they show up in a clean nice vehicle or is it an old beat up truck?
2. Impression: How are they dressed, Are they organized?
3. Do they have liability insurance and worker’s comp insurance?
4. Do they take the time to answer all your questions?
5. Do they explain everything to you, especially walking you
through the process and discussing the problems you are unfamiliar with?
6. Do they have the proper licensing if required by the state?
7. Do their actions match their words; like calling you back when t
hey say they will. Showing up on time?
8. What kind of materials will they use?
9. Do they ask for money up front or not until the job is done?
Various states have a maximum of what they can take up front.
10. Do they give you options on what to do or are they like a closer making the sale?
I just recently started using Angie’s list. They have a grading system and you
can see how other’s experienced their services. I have also used
HomeAdvisors.com a free service that provides a list of
licensed and insured contractors.
Stay away from someone advertising their services on craigslist. I would
strongly suggest you thoroughly look them over if you want to go that route.
Craigslist has become very popular in recent years and all kinds of scammers
are coming out of the “woodwork” on to this “site”.
Lesson: Get at a minimum, three estimates. Interview them thoroughly, like you
are going to have a long term relationship with them. You want to feel
comfortable that they are going to do a professional job. Your impressions
of them will speak volumes. How they look, communicate, and their
knowledge will all be factors in finding the best contractor.
Remember it is your money. You want to feel good that you made
the right decision.
If you are planning on using Angie’s list in the future, email
me and I will show you how to get 60% off a yearly membership.
Listen to Money on Your Terms Show, Thursday’s evenings
from 8:00-8:30 pm PST on blogtalkradio.com. You can catch
recent shows from the archives 24/7.
Remember when it comes to money, it’s on your terms not their terms.