Have you put off fixing your bathroom before Thanksgiving because you just can't face hiring someone to do it?
Hiring a Contractor - a few pointers:
* Recommendations - Your friends, neighbors and family are a great place to start to get recommendations. Local suppliers can give good references also. If you are looking at bath tile ask the vendor who they would use on their own home to install the tile.
* Licenses - Make sure the contractor is licensed and that the license is up to date. In Maryland, contact MHIC, the Maryland Home Improvement Commision.
* Insurance certificate - Do not skip this step, every single contractor who steps foot on your property needs to be adequately insured and be able to give you a certificate to that effect from his insurance company. If there is any hesitation what so ever here, beware and do not use that contractor. Again do not skip this step.
* Check for complaints - Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Department of Consumer Affairs and the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and make sure the contractor doesn't have a trail of unhappy customers in his wake.
* Personnel - on site workers - Who will actually be in your house doing the work? It is possible that the supervisor (not on site) has the credentials and training and the workers on site do not. Don't fall for bait and switch, know who will be in your house before the project begins.
* Bids/Quotes - Be sure when reviewing different contractors bids that you are not comparing apples to oranges. Get bid proposals that are as detailed as possible and compare these details. Don't be timid, ask as many questions as needed. Remodeling is a complicated business. Any builder who will not give you straight answers with a patient attitude need not be hired.
* Get it in Writing - Get everything in writing, proposals, bids, quotes, spec sheets, contracts and extras - in short everything - get in writing. If somebody wants to work on a hand shake - run - do not walk in the other direction.
* References - Ask for references, talk to the builder's previous clients and look at their finished projects. A truly satisfied customer standing in a beautifully improved home, is what you are looking for.
* Permits - Call your local government and just ask what permits your project requires. This knowledge allows you to eliminate the fly by nighters who work "off permit".
* Think beyond the bottom line - Price is important but reliability, workmanship and communication skills are equally important. The aggravation of a bad builder in your home is extreme, your stomach lining is worth more than any amount of money.
How to hire a contractor websites: