When you decide to add on to or renovate your home, there is no one right way to find the best contractor in Augusta, but there are some surefire ways that you won’t. A contractor is integral not only to get the job done but also, to get it done correctly. The many options to find one can be confusing, I mean how do you really know how good someone is? Sometimes the best way to rule someone in is by ruling others out. So avoid these not-so-good ways to find a contractor in Augusta.
It isn’t that the internet isn’t an excellent way to find a contractor; it is just important to consider the source and type of publication you are searching. Credible sites like Angie’s List or Home Advisors have strict guidelines about who they advertise and a standard of care that a business has to abide by to participate. But there are no one monitoring neighborhood sites like Next Door or Craigslist. When you find tradespeople on a site that has no minimum requirements to be recommended, they can pretty much make whatever claims they chose, whether they are real or not.
Reviews and Ratings
Reviews and ratings are a great way to gauge the reputation of a contractor in your area, but it depends on who is writing them. Sometimes reviews or ratings are nothing short of paid advertising, which often, is not as accurate as you would like. Other times, the person who writes the review might not be a real client, there is really no way to tell. It is a good idea to do some investigation into someone’s work history, just don’t trust everything you read, unless you know for sure you know who the source is.
Working Without Permits
If you interview a contractor and they say they can do renovation work without pulling a permit, you should run, and run fast! Not only will doing renovations without a permit be illegal and eventually fall back on you, the homeowner; there is no one making sure that the work is done properly and to code. Your home is too important to leave to someone who might or might not know how to do the work they are hired for. Never hire anyone who won’t pull a permit. They aren’t trying to save you money, they are trying to get around the system for a reason.
Handyman Without a License
Everyone thinks it would be great to have a handyman on hand to perform small tasks here and there. Handymen are supposed to be artisans who can do it all from electrical work to plumbing, but that isn’t a good thing. If you do a little bit of everything, there is no way that you can specialize in all of it. And if you aren’t formally trained and have the licensure to work as an electrician or other tradesperson, you can increase the risk of fire, water leak issues, and just poor craftsmanship. Handymen might be “handy” but that doesn’t mean that they are fit to work in all capacities that they have to.
Using Your Homeowner’s Insurance as Protection
When you hire a contractor in Augusta, make sure that they can produce a certificate proving that they have at least the minimum insurance required. If they can’t show you a certificate, then they are likely relying on your homeowner’s insurance to cover them if they get hurt. But if there is something wrong with their work, that means you are out of luck. Homeowner’s insurance typically won’t cover the cost of hiring someone who didn’t have the proper license and insurance to work as a contractor. Not ensuring they can cover the cost of a mistake could turn out to be super costly for you!
Paying by the Hour or Having An Open Project Cost
Sure, even when you have a contract in writing, there might be times when budgets go over or there are some unforeseen costs that might befall you. If you pay someone by the hour, or there is no estimate about how much something is going to cost, it is like handing them a blank check. As contractors, we always know that there is the potential for things to get more expensive once we get behind walls. But if the person you hire can’t give you at a minimum an estimate for the total cost or a time limit, then they either don’t have the experience they should or they are trying to nickel and dime you.
Good help is hard to find, especially when you don’t know what to look for. There is no one right way to find the best contractor in Augusta, but there are surefire ways to find bad ones. Sometimes you have to go backward and rule out things so you know what to rule in. At Clean ’n’ Brite, we have an excellent reputation, are highly esteemed, and have the proper training, licensure, and insurance to protect both us and you. Contact us today to discuss your next home project!