Sometimes your DIY skills are up there and able to patch up those little problems around your home. But, there are times when even your enthusiastic amateur skills are not going to do it, and that’s the time you need to call the experts in. But how do you know when you’re getting ripped off when that job you could almost do is escalating in cost and not going the way you think it should? Here are our top tips on how to find and choose a reliable contractor and how to avoid the great rip off:
Word of mouth:
By far, the best indicator of a reliable contractor is a recommendation or two from friends or family. Your loved ones don’t want to see you paying over the odds, so ask around if you need a chimney repair recommendation or that plumbing finally sorted out.
If you are lacking in real life reviews, then turn to an online version for more recommendations. There are sites that will rate traders in your area but, if you’re still not sure, have a look at their website and take note of the reviews left by previous customers. You then have the option of calling them up to see if the review is legitimate and why they would recommend them.
If you want to see if your preferred contractor is in line with others in the area, then invite more than one over to give you a quote on the work. Three is often a good number as it gives you a middle figure to work with and lets you know if the other two are way out either way.
Trust your gut:
You might not know much about electrical systems but you do know how to read people, so if you’re talking to a contractor and you get a bad feeling, go with it. You don’t have to have anyone in your home that makes you feel uncomfortable, even if they offer a competitive rate.
Don’t scrimp the details:
Be sure to look for more than just the cost when it comes to hiring a contractor. You’re going to want to know their start and completion dates, how early they start, how late they finish, and if they’ll be working alone or with a colleague. Will your WiFi connection be affected (important if you’re working from home) and how much overall disruption are you likely to face?
Don’t be afraid to ask the obvious and get your questions taken seriously. Rope in family and friends for help and suggestions and find a contractor who can deliver your project on time and to your budget.
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