Have you ever hired a professional to perform a service around your home, and wondered if you actually could have found someone more skilled and experienced to do the job? This is a common tale, especially at a time when record numbers of people are investing in home renovation. When several thousand dollars are on the line, it’s important to find a contractor who will take good care of that investment.
Inevitable, some experiences with home renovators are going to be positive. Some are going to be mediocre, and others are going to be downright negative. We see this all the time on popular review sites where past customers tell the world about their experiences.
Your goal as a homeowner investing in renovations is to put yourself in the “positive review” column. This means you got the result you needed, without drama or setbacks, and the contractor did what it took to deliver.
Achieving success in home renovation requires knowing what to look for in a contractor. It also requires knowing what to avoid. Here are three signs that you should take your investment elsewhere.
1. A pattern of negative reviews
It’s true that even the most professional and reputable home renovators see a negative review every so often. But the pattern of positive reviews and happy clients should be very strong and very obvious. If you notice the opposite – a pattern of mediocre or even negative comments about the way a contractor conducted business with the client – it’s a good sign that you should take your time and resources elsewhere.
2. Long delays in communication
When a home renovation company takes days or even weeks to return your messages – or when their replies are curt and sloppy – what kind of message does it send to potential clients? Results are the most important aspect of home renovation, but service and communication are critical in their own right. Beware of home renovators who seem too hurried or busy to answer your questions. Chances are, if you hire them to perform your renovation (whether it’s a small bathroom upgrade or a full-scale addition), you’ll notice the same carelessness in other ways.
3. No physical office or support staff
There are quite a few contractors out there who don’t actually have an administrative office or support staff, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of the work will be low, it’s generally true that established and respected renovation companies are more organized. This means they have good, modern equipment (such as branded vehicles with racks and tool installations) and administrative support to back them up.
Asking the right questions about your home renovator
Choosing the right home renovator is not always an easy task. There may be several contractors in your area who are ready and willing to get started immediately; but which of them are the most reliable, experienced and skilled? Which of them operate in the most organized and customer-oriented fashion? These are important questions to ask if you want to get the absolute most out of your next home renovation project.