How to Choose a Reliable General Contractor
For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself, it’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking down a wall or re-tiling the bathroom is simple compared with the struggle of hiring a quality contractor who will perform at a high level from start to finish.
Everyone has heard stories about horrendous contractors who tore apart the kitchen and never returned or projects that cost three times the contractor’s original estimate.
Even with a good contractor, renovation can be stressful, expensive and involve unpleasant surprises, such as rotted sub-floors that are revealed when tile is removed or dangerous electrical wiring or leaking pipes behind walls.
Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation project and a disaster. But even for experienced renovators, finding the right contractor can be a challenge.
If you’re doing a big project, you’ll need a general contractor, who may hire subcontractors for specialty work such as plumbing and electrical. Homeowners with renovation experience sometimes work as their own general contractors, hiring specific tradespeople for each job. While this may save you money, it can be time-consuming and will mean multiple contractor searches instead of just one, since you’ll have to find a specialist for each smaller job.
Whichever way you go, there are steps you can take to find the right contractor while still keeping your budget and your sanity under control.
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