Tips for Hiring a Licensed Contractor for Home Repairs

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 02/20/23
Tips for Hiring a Licensed Contractor for Home Repairs

If you're in need of home repairs and renovations, finding a reliable contractor can be a daunting task. You want to make sure that you're hiring someone who can do the job right the first time, within your budget, and on time. It's important to take your time and do your research before committing to any house repair contractor. This article will provide tips on how to find a reliable contractor for home repair who will meet all your needs and expectations.

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How to Find House Repair Contractors Near Me?

First things first. Before you hire a contractor, you need to find one—or preferably several. Here are a few of our tried-and-true tips.

1. Elicit recommendations from friends and neighbors.

One of the best ways to find local contractors for home repairs is to ask around for recommendations. Consult your immediate neighbors, families in your school district, or people in community organizations that you participate in. Independent contractors especially thrive on referrals. There’s bound to be someone in your town who recently completed a home project that is similar to your own.

2. Contact local trade organizations and professional associations.

Licensed home repair contractors are typically connected to unions, trade organizations, or other professional groups. You can reach out to these organizations for contact information. While it’s not the same as a referral, it’s a good starting point.

3. Search for reliable contractors online.

Most contractors today have some kind of online presence. Use online directories or simple Google searches to find contractors operating in your area.

4. Consult with other home service professionals.

Your local home services industry could be smaller than you might think. It’s not uncommon for contractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, landscapers, and interior decorators to repeatedly encounter each other on different job sites. Tradespeople begin to network with each other. Maybe you don’t know of any local contractors, but you do have an electrician who you have worked with a few times. Reach out and ask for a recommendation. He or she almost certainly knows someone who can help.

Making a Final Decision: How to Select a Reliable Contractor

Hiring the right home repair contractor is often a challenging task. There are a lot of contractors out there, but not all are dependable and do quality work. Here are some tips for finding someone honest and reliable.

1. Ask for references.

Once you have a few contractors in mind, ask for a handful of references from each. A contractor’s inability or unwillingness to provide a reference is an immediate red flag. Also, each reference should come from a client who hired the contractor for a similar project. Maybe your contractor has great references for repairing roofs, but that may not be relevant to you if you’re hiring him or her to repair your home’s concrete foundation.

Once you receive your references, contact the clients and inquire about their experiences. Ask if your potential contractor was able to complete projects on time and within the quoted budget. Try to gather if the contractor is reasonably responsive to texts, calls, or emails. Of course, also inquire about the quality of work.

2. Verify insurance and licensing.

Your contractor should be properly insured and licensed. Be sure to independently verify this before you agree to any services or remit payment. This will protect you in the event of any accidents or issues during the repair process.

3. Get written estimates.

Ask for written estimates from each of the contractors you are considering. This will allow you to compare rates and help you get the best possible deal.

Be wary of estimates that are exceptionally high or low. And don’t be afraid to use your estimates to negotiate prices in your favor.

4. Read reviews.

While references are paramount, supplement these with online reviews for the contractors you are considering. Look for general patterns among reviews. Do people complain about poor workmanship? Bloated budgets? Delayed timelines? Getting a general feel for the average homeowner’s experience will provide insight into the quality of the contractor’s work and customer service.

5. Ask for a warranty.

Sometimes a project looks great on the final day of work, but some unexpected issue comes up weeks or months down the line. Make sure to ask each contractor about any warranties they offer. Any malfunctions or damages that arise from poor materials or workmanship should not be your financial responsibility for a reasonable amount of time after the contractor signs off on the project.

6. Negotiate payment terms.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate payment terms with your contractor before any work begins. Make sure the terms are fair and that you are comfortable with them. Remember to ask about not just the price but the method of payment as well.

7. Get everything in writing.

Before any work begins, make sure to get a contract in writing that outlines the scope of work, payment terms, and any warranties. This will protect you in the event of any issues. If your contractor promises you anything in person or over the phone, politely request for it in a formalized written document—or even a text or email.

Protecting Your Newly Repaired Home

A good contractor should provide some kind of warranty, but that can reasonably last for only so long. As with an appliance manufacturer’s guarantee, the warranty eventually expires. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be on the hook to be for expensive repairs.

When your warranty coverage expires, consider investing in extended home warranty coverage from Liberty Home Guard for continued protection. If a problem arises, submit a claim through our website, and we’ll have licensed and insured technician respond within 48 hours. The age of your appliance or system is of no consequence. We absolutely have a plan for you. Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-432-1283.

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