Finding Trustworthy Home Service Providers
Finding the right contractor can be a challenge if you have repairs or home improvement projects on your to-do list, especially now when demand is sky-high. Protect yourself from providers who might be taking advantage of the situation with these tips for finding ones you can trust.
Get Multiple Estimates
While comparing prices may seem like obvious advice, it’s not the only way the process of gathering estimates should inform your decision. It’s your best chance to determine if working with the company or contractor will be a good fit. Take into consideration how easy they were to get a hold of initially and how quickly they can provide an estimate. Do they take the time to listen to your project’s details and ask relevant questions? Do they show up to your scheduled appointment on time? The entire interaction can be revealing beyond learning how much it’s going to cost.
Ask for Referrals and References
Asking friends, family, and neighbors for suggestions of service providers is a great way to build your initial list before requesting estimates. But once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask the contractor for customers they’ve worked with previously. It can be the most important way to evaluate the quality of their work and their customer service.
Use Online Resources Carefully
Thanks to the Internet, it’s much easier to identify people and companies available to address your home improvement and repair needs. However, it can be much harder to determine which ones are trustworthy. Remember, most online referral services are essentially an advertising service paid for by the companies they recommend. And it’s impossible to know the motivations behind suggestions from strangers on sites like Facebook or NextDoor. So if you decide to start your search online, don’t let the reviews or referrals end your research.
Often, your questions are the best way to evaluate a prospective service provider. The answers you receive and their willingness to engage in satisfying your concerns in advance are critical. Ask about insurance coverage and warranties on their work. Find out the details of their payment schedule, such as whether the total is due after completion or partial payment is due in advance. Inquire about how they handle unexpected issues that weren’t included in the original estimate. An experienced professional should respond with ease and have the patience to be sure you’re comfortable moving forward. If they hesitate or seem unwilling to take the time to answer your questions, it’s probably best to find someone else to do the work.
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