A quick internet browse is enough to scare you from ever considering hiring a contractor. The internet is full of sad stories from homeowners who happened to hire a contractor who either took forever to complete the project, delivered poor service or ran away with their money without even doing the work they had hired them for.

However, that doesn’t mean that all contractors are terrible and dishonest in their dealings. There are still a lot of honest and trustworthy contractors out here. The biggest question however remains, how do you find one and where? Doing the searching exercise may takes time, effort and patience, but it will eventually pay off.

1. Do Your Homework

In addition to a general Google search, websites like Construction Review Online  can help you make the right decision when hiring a contractor. CRO has a more reliable database of building and home improvement contractors reviewed by verified members. A quick browse on their site can help you find verified contractors including handymen to assist with simple tasks.

Once you’ve done your homework and properly researched your options, you can then make a list of at least three highly rated or reputable contractors you want to work with and contact them directly. With Vernkem Innovations, you can request a obligation-free quotation here.

2. Get Contractors’ License or Registration Retails

When you have created your shortlist, you will then narrow it down by contacting each of the contractor you have shortlisted, requesting their license registration details. Regardless of the state in which they operate, every professional contractor must have some sort of a license or registration number. Having their registration details will empower you to choose the right contractor even more. You can then contact your local municipality to check if the contractor is legally in business.

3. Ask Important Questions

Before you go on and meet with your shortlisted contractors, make sure that you have a list of questions that you may have. Below are some of the questions you can ask them:

How Long have You Been In Operation?

Most fly-by-night contractors will claim to have been in operation way longer than they have. You can also ask for their proof of tenure.

What Local Associations Do You Belong To?

After meeting with them, make time to contact these organizations up just to make sure that this contractor is really a member and in good standing.

Can You Provide Provide At Least 3 References You Worked With Recently?

We need to be very clear here, the keyword here is “recent.” Good and reliable contractors are always ready and willing to share the contact information of clients they’ve worked with. Below are some of the questions you can ask these references:

  • How responsive was the contractor to changes with the project?
  • Was the project completed as per timeline and budget? If not, what happened?
  • Did the contractor keep their promises to you?
  • Overall, would you recommend this contractor to someone else?

How Long Do You Think The Project Will Take To Complete? Any Other Project That May Affect The Timeline?

It’s important for you to also ask them of any recent bids they’ve made with other clients or homeowners. The truth is that they may not have any project lined up at the time of your meeting, but what happens if three more homeowners hire them later in the month?

What Payment Schedule Do You Require?

Always remember, an honest and true contractor will never ask for the full project payment up front. Most of them would rather ask for an upfront and a regular payment structure. So you need to make make sure you know when payments are expected due and how much they will cost.

Will The Same People Work On This Project Every Day?

If you’re interviewing a general contractor, ask them who will be showing up at your home every day. What kind of vetting process do they use when hiring subcontractors? Will it be the same team of subcontractors every day, or will different teams show up on different days? Find out the details so you know what to expect.

We know that some of these questions may sound a little nit-picky, but they will save you time, money and unnecessary stress. Make sure you gather as much information as possible before the project even starts, so you can voice your expectations and avoid headaches.

4. Request An Itemized Bid

With every contractor that you meet, make sure they should provide you with an itemized bid that list everything you’ll be paying for. This includes all labour costs, materials and any other expenses like travel fees the contractor expects to bill for.

An itemized bill will give you a clear picture of how much the project will cost you and the power to stay within your budget. If cases where the contractor’s initial bid is higher than your budget, you can then change the project scope, so it better fits your budget. You can decide to go with less-expensive tile or do all the painting by yourself. If your contractor doesn’t want to give you an itemized bid, don’t hire them.

A Little Bit About Vernkem Innovations

Based in the north western province of Zambia, VERNKEM Innovations Zambia Limited is a private Zambian company in the business of providing Building Construction, Property Maintenance and Waste management services to companies and organisations all over Zambia.

Over the five years we have been in operation, we have built a reputation as a reliable company that can be trusted to deliver quality products and services to our clients in a timely manner; and our client list continues to grow. VERNKEM Innovations has the distinct advantage of a closely-knit team of proficient workers. Our customers are thus assured of efficient and personal service.

We are proud to be associated with several leading companies in Zambia and beyond. These partnerships mean that we can provide goods and services to our clients at affordable prices. At Vernkem Innovations, we are Driven to Deliver.

Need Help with Home Improvement or Building Construction? Speak to us or request an obligation-free quotation here

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