There are several types of home projects. The type of your home project will determine the type of contractor you may need.
Maintenance projects are done occasionally or at different times throughout the year to keep you and your family safe and healthy and prevent damage to your home and equipment. These projects can usually be done by most homeowners who have basic skills and want to save money. Many of them take a small amount of time. Doing maintenance on products increases the lifespan by 40 to 80%, saving you money by not replacing things so often.
Replacement projects occur when maintenance is not done, and now items need repair or replacement to function or to keep your home in good condition and working order. Over time, products wear out and have to be replaced, or you get tired of a product and want it replaced. Replacement Projects are usually a step up in expertise and require a replacement-type contractor.
New projects include remodeling, finishing, and adding or building onto your home or property. These projects usually require many forms of expertise, from design, engineering, and building codes to actual building, coordinating, and installing all construction projects.
Most homeowners make the mistake of lumping all these project types together, but they are all distinct, and contractors charge differently for each type. Most contractors have expertise in one or two, but not all three. Specializing in one of the three types allows them to develop specific expertise and efficiency. The right type of contractor may finish faster and with better results. Determine what type of project you have before you start your search for a contractor.
How do I find a contractor?
The number one way to find any type of good contractor is by a recommendation from someone who has used the contractor. Keep this in mind: good and great contractors rarely need to advertise. They are in such demand that paid to advertise is not worth the money. Word of mouth is how they get referrals to fill their schedules, and it works well for them and for you. So, ask friends, relatives, coworkers, and anyone you trust about good experiences with contractors.
You only need to ask them one simple question. Would you hire the contractor again?
Build a team with contractors your neighbors would hire again. Organize your team and keep it updated on your HomeTeam page in HomeManager.
If you’re new to an area, here are some secrets to help you find a good contractor.
- If you just moved into your new home, see if you can talk to the past homeowner and get their list of contractors. Make sure you ask them if they would hire each contractor again.
- Introduce yourself to your new neighbors with some cookies and ask them who they might recommend for your HomeTeam.
- Ask local homeowners associations if they have a list of trusted contractors.
- Ask local suppliers, lumber companies, plumbing, and heating and air companies.
- Once you get one or two contractors, they can become a source for finding other good contractors. You will find those good contractors usually hang together, and not-so-good contractors usually hang together. You want your HomeTeam to be filled with the good ones.
Real estate agents hesitate to recommend contractors in case a less-than-perfect job may reflect poorly on them. Realtors want to avoid conflicts with other local pros and to make sure you are always happy. They fear that you might not use them again when you need a realtor if you are not happy with someone.