Choosing a Contractor
Selecting the right Lethbridge contractor for remodel projects can be a challenge for any home owner. Over the years I've developed my own criteria for selecting contractors.
Regardless of the project budget, these are my recommendations to people interviewing prospective re-modelers:
• Ask about their history. How long have they been in the home-remodeling business? Even new contractors (if they are reputable) will have some examples, photos, and references of their work. Many times home builders have shifted their focus to remodeling projects and it's important to know if this is the case. Ask for references relating to remodeling as that can be more customer service oriented.
• Call their references. Don't trust that just because they have provided you with a reference they are reputable. These people will be at your home for weeks or even months so ask questions to find out if they are the kind of contractor who cleans up after each day, protects your furniture/floors, keeps to a specific schedule, lets you know in advance when they are bringing in a subcontractor as well as provide you with their name/details, and if they will be interacting or updating you as they progress.
• See projects they have done. References are one thing, but seeing work they've done is important
• Insurance and certification. Are they a registered contractor and have they personally completed any apprenticeships or specific training in their field? Do they have insurance? Ask to see copies.
• Do your due diligence. Check with the Better Business Bureau for your region. If this is a problem contractor you will likely find a list of complaints.
• Once you have agreed on the cost, the standard practice for jobs under $2,000 is to pay one-third on signing the agreement, one-third when the job begins and one-third at its conclusion. For pricier jobs, space the payments out and agree upon payment based on progress points. This way you can review what is done as well as the quality of work as you go along.
• Lastly, use your instincts. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is, especially with home remodeling.
There are lots of great contractors in Lethbridge, but sadly there are always bad ones too.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.