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What to look for When Hiring a Contractor to Help with Home Improvements

December 3, 2018 - Tips
What to look for When Hiring a Contractor to Help with Home Improvements

Many people choose to do home improvements on their own however there is a large proportion of people that choose to bring in a contractor or company to do this for them. A lot of the reasoning for this is mainly down to the skillset required to ensure that a good quality job is completed but also, in addition to this, sometimes the actual time and effort to do these activities yourself could be significant. You read a lot that people are sometimes taken advantage of by contractors in terms of pricing and quality and there is evidence of “scope creep” once the task has started. As a result there are a lot of important things that you need to consider when taking on a contractor:

Health and Safety

If a contractor is working in your home and he / she injures themselves, then there could be a claim against you (depending on what the specific injury is). It is therefore important for you to ensure that the area the contractor is working in is safe and that they are aware of any hazards. They should also themselves have a level of insurance that covers them from some basic issues (and for mistakes they make). You may want to query them about that in advance and ensure the appropriate cover exists. If unsure, ask them for evidence of this.

Finding the Right Person

There are many different considerations to take into account when looking to take on the correct person. There are also many different places where you can go to look. Word of mouth is actually probably one of the most reliable sources as if you know someone who has had work completed at a reasonable rate then they are likely to recommend. Other options include searching on the internet and looking for “decorators” or “electricians” in the area. One of the disadvantages you have with this sort of method is that you are fully relying on the information on the internet to be accurate in terms of the reviews left for the individual. They are generally a good indicator however they are not to be taken as solid credible reviews (as you may find that family and friends will leave positive feedback for their friends in this business). Other options would be to go to a quote site where you can enter the details of what it is you are looking for, when you want it done etc and allow companies and people to quote for the job. This is becoming a far more common way to employ people to do home improvements and DIY.

Skillset

There are many people out there that are skilled in DIY but it doesn’t mean they are an expert on specific things. Doors are a home improvement that many people will require a joiner for, as modern grey internal doors are all the rage at the moment within interior design. A joiner will have the skillset needed to fit a solid-core, high-quality, pre-finished internal door, so you do not have to worry about damaging yours. On the other hand if you are looking for someone to change electrics then you want to be looking at ensuring you have a skilled electrician. There are many different skills to different trades which include formal qualifications and apprenticeships and it would be a good idea for you to enquire about this from the person you are employing. Not only do you want the job completed to be safe but you want it to be of good quality therefore the previous experience and technical expertise plays a key part in this.

Pricing

When getting a quote for a job, do not immediately jump onto hiring the cheapest quote you see. It is important you take the other things into consideration on qualifications, insurance, experience and previous feedback. Take a more holistic approach to ensure you get the job completed at a competitive rate but also to a good quality standard. In addition to this, there is sometimes an issue where tradesman would scope creep. What we mean by this is that when they have started the job, they may tell you that what they are doing is above and beyond what was originally quoted for and therefore requires more cash. This on occasion may be genuine however watch out for rogue traders that will chance their arm and look to try and squeeze a couple of more pounds from you. Also be aware of the payment method you use for this. If paying all up front, you run the risk of not a good job being completed and as the person has your money, the power is almost in their hands. A good compromise would be to give half up front and half after the job is complete.