How to choose the right contractor

We believe that a successful project starts with education. If you don’t know what to expect when hiring a contractor and beginning your project, chances are that unneeded complications will arise.

1. Write a plan

A plan means more than some gibberish written on the back of some scrap paper. Some small repairs may not require a formal written plan. Anything larger should have a formal plan that includes a timeline, materials to be used and drawings when appropriate.

2. Be Responsive

When you first call for information or a quote you should get a live human being. Even if you get voice mail, someone should get back to you within 24 hours. If a builder isn’t responsive before he has your money, what is it going to be like after they have the job?

Additionally, from time-to-time you may have an urgent need to reach your builder. Builders who care about that level of service will have emergency numbers, carry cell phones or have pagers. And when you use that emergency number, you should get a response within 1 hour.

Good communication, caring customer service and responsiveness can be the difference between getting what you expected and getting less than you bargained for.

3. True Pricing

The quoted price is important, but the PRICE you ultimately pay is what really counts. Your contractor should have a system for establishing the cost of your job. For more about CCI’s system, see about pricing.

4. Make It Right

Finally, you want a contractor that you are reasonably sure will do the job right the first time. Nothing is worse than thinking the job is finished, the workmen are finally out of your home, you’ve paid the final bill, life is back to normal; then something doesn’t work right. A piece of trim is missing, some detail is not quite right. Now, how do you get the company to come back? Do you even want them back?