Don't get nailed on home improvements
One of the benefits of owning your own home is that you can make any kind of home improvements that you want. The problem that many home owners have when it comes to home improvements is getting nailed on home improvements, what happens is that either they pay too much for the home improvement project or they get a contractor that does not do the job right.
With home improvement projects there is no way to ever know if you are getting the lowest possible price because every home improvement contractor uses their own pricing scale, so you cannot really tell if Price A is better than Price B because one might be using substandard materials. The best thing that you can do to ensure that you are not nailed on home improvements is to choose the best home improvement contractor that you can.
The one thing that you want to avoid doing when hiring a home improvement contractor is to hire somebody who walks up to your door and offers their services, especially if you have not solicited their services. Most of these so called home improvement contractors are scam artists and they are going to do everything that they can to take advantage of you. These people usually simply take your money and disappear or if they do the work, it is done so poorly that you have to pay somebody else to fix it.
To ensure that you choose the right home improvement contractor for the job you are going to need to first define the job. You need to figure out what it is you want done, you want to create a list of everything that the job is going to entail so that you and the contractor both know what is expected from the job. For example, if you want the debris removed from the house you need to include that. You should also look into the various materials that will be needed for the job, so you can get an idea on the general prices.
The next thing you want to do is talk to people that you know about any home improvement contractors that they have worked with. Find out if they were happy with the work that they had done, plus what they thought about the price that they were charged. If you don't know anybody who has had work done in the past you can also talk to your local hardware stores about contractors that they know and would recommend. Other contractors can also refer you to people that they have worked with in the past, such as a plumber referring you to a painter.
Once you have your list of contractors you will want to check them out. You can check with the better Business Bureau to see if anything turns up there, but you will also want to make sure that they are licensed to do business in your state. To find out if they are licensed contractors you will want to call your state licensing board, which can be found in the "blue pages" of your local phone book. While licensing does not guarantee that the contractor is going to be the best, it is something that you should expect a contractor to have.
Once you have checked out the list of contractors you will need to call the ones that have passed your initial inspection to see if they do the type of work that you need. When talking to the contractors you want to make sure they can complete the work in the period that you have in mind, but you also want to find out more about them. Find out how long they have been in business and get proof that they are licensed and bonded, but you should also ensure that they are covered by workers' compensation and liability insurance.
After you have found the contractors that have what you need you will want to narrow it down to three home improvement contractors. You will want to meet with the three contractors face-to-face ad discuss everything about the job you need to have done. Talk to them about your budget and any specifications that you might have. When talking to them want to pay attention to how they make you feel, but you also want to get a written estimate from them. The written estimate should cover everything about the job.
Go over the three written estimates that you have and remember that the lowest price might not be the best. You will want to go with the home improvement contractor that made you feel comfortable, but also has a good price. If there is a big gap in the bids, you will want to find out why that is, before making your final decision.