Choosing a Credible Home Improvement Contractor

If you are a home or property owner it is certain that eventually you will need to hire a home improvement contractor for one reason or another. Whether its for an emergency situation such as a roof leak, or simply for the purpose of modernizing an element of your home; such as installing new kitchen cabinets and counter tops, upgrading your bathroom, or a major project like converting your basement into a living and recreation area.

Whatever the case may be, hiring a credible home improvement expert is most vital to your home improvement investment, and to achieve this there are certain facts that you should know and be aware of when choosing a home improvement contractor for your home or property investment.

A carpenter by trade with a newly started business, I am writing to provide some helpful tips for homeowners so they can choose a credible contractor and evade the scam artists when exploring their home improvement options. The term home improvement is an ambiguous term because there are so many elements to your home: the roof, deck, porch, kitchen, basement, bathroom, etc. In essence there could be a thousand tips to discuss, but I will contain this article to the two primary things to watch for if and when you find the need to choose a contractor to work on your home.

First and foremost is the fact that generally most credible home improvement contractors fall into a specific category of expertise and have a reputation based on that expertise. As such, in your initial search, don’t just pick the first home improvement advertiser because maybe they offer a better price or have fancy ads. Instead, make your choice from the contractors who advertise under the specific project you are interested in.

For example, if you need a new roof, choose from roofing contractors — preferably one that has long-standing reputation in your community. If you come across someone advertising that they provide a litany of services, be wary of their credibility and the quality of their work. Despite the fact that there are talented individuals who have the skills to cover all the facets of home improvement, generally even these individuals will choose to specialize in a targeted area and will not cover the “Jack of all Trades” title. Most, but not all, “Jack Of All Trades” contractors are bad news, so you may wish to stay away from them.

The second tip I offer is choosing a contractor who offers a warranty coverage package that protects you and your property investment. Although many contractors allege to offer warranty coverage, many of their warranties offer very little protection for the consumer whatsoever! The fact is that the best warranty coverage is a “Non-prorated” warranty because this contract policy covers all costs should there be ANY defect in the workmanship and/or product(s), and there is NO cost to the consumer.

Although some warranties appear to look good because they have a long coverage period like 20 – 30 years, the cold hard truth is that they may only be a “prorated” warranty. A prorated warranty clearly states that it ONLY covers a certain dollar amount of any defect! Anything beyond that specified dollar amount is then paid for by the homeowner, even if the product was installed incorrectly by the contractor! Needless to say, most prorated warranties are useless, and home and property owners need to be aware of this! Remember, you get what you pay for, so read the warranty contract terms.