Monday, August 17, 2009

Follow these tips and have a great experience with home improvement professionals

Spiffing up your home before you sell can reap financial rewards. Finding the right contractor or tradesperson to help is a crucial step.

You’ve decided to put your home up for sale and move on, or you are staying put and want a fresh look. However, a few things need to be addressed before you plant that FOR SALE sign in the front yard. Homeowners can handle small fix-it projects, but other projects may call for an expert. That means the search for a reliable, honest contractor is next on your agenda.

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a contractor or tradesperson. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals, but make sure what you need matches with who is recommended. You may need your deck resurfaced, but your friend’s wonderful painter wouldn’t be the best choice. Even if you chose a friend’s recommendation, check it out with the St. Louis Better Business Bureau. Ask the contractor for a list of recently completed projects and call the homeowner to discuss the work. Grant Hickman, SCHNEIDER Realtor, is another excellent resource for recommendations.

Once you’ve found a good fit, make sure your contractor has the proper insurance, liability and bonding, and is licensed to perform the work you want. Ask the tradesperson to show you this documentation, and obtain copies for your files.

Get it in writing. The contract stage is crucial to a successful job completion. Include every detail possible for the job in addition to an estimate. Include the start date, schedule, completion date, any variables you would anticipate and the payment schedule. If your contractor or tradesperson is reluctant to include any of this information, beware. This might not be a good match. Everyone involved in your project must have copies of all paperwork.

And finally, do you like each other. Really, personality conflicts or different work styles can mean your project could be an unsatisfying experience. When all is said and done, both you and your contractor want to show pride in the workmanship and part on good terms.

No comments: