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Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Find a Reliable Contractor

Have you recently purchased your first home? Congratulations on reaching the first rung of the property ladder! Having arranged the best home insurance Louisiana offers and moved in, you may be thinking seriously about some home improvements that could make your new home more comfortable and convenient for you and your family.

Hiring a trade contractor for a home improvement project can be quite challenging. If this is the first time you have engaged a contractor, here are some tips that might help to ensure a successful project.

•    Shop around: ask friends, relatives or neighbors to recommend contractors, and check out advertisements in local directories or newspapers. Contact several of potential contractors and obtain written estimates from at least three businesses that seem suitable.
•    Compare the contractors’ estimates. An estimate that is not much more than a dollar figure is not reassuring. A well-prepared, detailed estimate that sets out the scope of work to be done, and includes costs and time frames for starting and completing the work, is an indicator that the contractor has a professional approach and has a clear understanding of what your project entails.
•    Check your chosen contractor’s background. Make sure that your contractor is properly licensed and carries liability insurance. Ask for contact details of previous clients, and call them to ask whether they were satisfied with the contractor’s work. Ask specifically whether the job was completed on time and within the budget, and whether the client would hire the contractor again.

A home improvement project may add significantly to the value of your home. If you need to review your home insurance coverage to reflect an increased investment in your home, speak to your agent or insurer.

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