While the COVID-19 pandemic is a worrying and costly period in many ways, it does give people who are restricted to home right now the chance to do work around the house. It’s easy for maintenance and renovation work to keep getting put off when there’s the busyness of life to attend to. When everything stops for a while, though, it’s the perfect time to catch up.
You likely have tasks you can take care of yourself around your property, but for difficult, detailed, and risky projects, it’s essential to hire a qualified contractor. Choosing the right tradesperson to work in your home has never been more vital. Follow a few tips to help you make the best decision today.
Decide on Your Goals
Before you hire anyone to work on your property, decide what your goals are. Why is it you need a contractor, and what do you hope to achieve from the project? When you’re clear about your requirements, it’s easier to know what to look for, skills-wise, and also to communicate this to the person you end up employing.
Your goal setting should involve timelines, too. While you might think you simply want the job done as soon as possible, it’s worth having a more precise end date in mind so you can evaluate potential candidates based on who can complete the work in time. Do note, though, that this availability and productivity level shouldn’t be your only criteria, as you don’t want to end up with rushed, less-than-ideal work.
Choose Someone Properly Qualified and Experienced
When it comes so selecting a tradesperson to handle home services safely for you, choose an appropriately qualified person. Before you hire someone, find out which licenses they hold and the types of education and training they’ve completed in their field. Ensure this lines up with the work you need doing, too. For example, while someone might be trained to repair air conditioning units, this doesn’t mean they can safely work on all types of electrical tasks.
Experience is critical, too. After all, someone might have the qualifications you want to see, but this doesn’t mean they’re experienced in the specific work you require. Tradespeople could be brand new to the field, having just completed training, or they might have worked on other project types but not the kind involved in your job. This is a factor to weigh up when making your decision.
Compare Prices and Contracts
Unless you have unlimited funds to spend on renovation or repair work, you’ll likely have a budget in mind to spend on the project. As such, price is another significant element to consider when hiring a tradesperson. Obtain quotes from numerous people, three to five or more, to see the range in price.
Before you say yes to the person who provided the cheapest estimate, though, be careful to compare the quotes and related paperwork, including contracts and terms and conditions, carefully. Often, first looks are deceiving because quotes may not include all the fees. Plus, different tradespeople use different fee structures, such as overall project costs, per hour costs, or baseline fees plus extra charges.
Examine details to see what the total expenses are likely to be so you can compare “apples with apples.” Look out for potential extras on top of the baseline price. For instance, contractors might charge more for working to a particular deadline or on weekends, for any simple changes to the scope of the job, for accepting some payment methods, or for sourcing materials for you. Ask any questions you need to help you clarify the information and make an informed decision.
Find a Clear Communicator
Another item on your checklist when choosing a tradesperson is understanding how well each person on your shortlist communicates. If possible, talk to previous clients or read online reviews and testimonials for additional information on this matter. It will make your life easier if you hire someone adept at communicating across various forms, including in-person and over the phone and email.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to guess when contractors will arrive each day or deciphering their vague speak about issues that arise or changes to the materials used, etc. With everything going on with the COVID-19 pandemic right now, you also want someone who can clearly explain their safety practices, so you feel okay about having them in and around your property.
Choosing the right tradesperson is a critical component of getting repairs or home remodel work completed with as little stress as possible and with the best results. Follow the tips above to ensure you make a wise decision.