Get the Best Value When Hiring Home Contractors

by Steve Hartung 06/02/2019

If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!

The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.

While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!

The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.

Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.

Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.

About the Author
Author

Steve Hartung

Steve's background in Real Estate goes back to his purchase of his first Napa home in 1987. He successfully negotiated over 100 leases, contracts, and/or purchases during his 10 years with a National Corporation, as the Fleet and Facilities Manager. He completed the UC Davis Business Management Program in 1999, his Real Estate Appraisal and Valuation course requirements in 2002, has received his e-Pro designation in 2002, is a Graduate of the REALTORS Institute 2004, and has completed his Council of Real Estate Specialist requirements in 2005. He obtained his California Real Estate Brokers license in 2006. In 2007 he obtained his Certified REO Broker designation. Steve believes in a higher standard for REALTORS after obtaining his California Real Estate SALESPERSONS License in 2002, Steve made it one of his goals to acquire the experience, knowledge, and education to pass the very difficult California Real Estate BROKERS License Exam, May 2006 he was issued his BROKERS License and with the changing Real Estate Market Steve trained and passed the required courses to obtain his Certification as a REO Broker. Steve has a working relationship with a number of Banks and Lendors to assist with buying and Selling Short Sale and Foreclosure (REO) properties. Steve has served on a number Boards and Committees such as the Napa Chapter of North Bay Association of REALTORS, Local Government Relations. Steve's work ethic, dedication, compassion, and honesty are qualities his customers have grown to appreciate. He is a very involved father, and coach, as well as being involved in adults sports programs. He has a strong commitment to his clients, friends, and family. He enjoys their confidence when welcoming their referrals. Steve's personal hands-on approach is what his clients like most.