Whether you live in Rochester NY or somewhere else in Monroe county one thing is certain: the longer you stay in your house, sooner or later you will need to make home improvements. It could be a new roof or repairing the driveway or maybe the house needs a new coat of paint or the patio needs to be re-finished. As a homeowner, you want to ensure that the improvements you want get done on time, on budget and done correctly. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is not the procedure of choice. Having a working knowledge of the home improvement industry and how contractors work is paramount.
Project and Budget
Before you even pick up the phone to contact a home improvement service contractor, you need to ask yourself, “What exactly do I want to get done?” The more you know about the specifics of the improvement project-at-hand, the better you can scrutinize the services you need. To get a better idea of the budget, start making calls. For starters, try visiting the municipal building department in your town or city and request a list of home improvement contractors from the city construction inspector. This is not privileged information! The construction inspector will know the companies that do specific projects and can recommend which ones to pursue and more importantly which ones to avoid.
You’ll notice that who does your work for you is directly related to how much you pay. So you want to make sure that who you pay is qualified to do the work. Your local municipal building department is one valuable resource. Two other worthwhile resources to help you find a good home improvement contractor include Home service Finder and the Home Improvement Network. Both are internet resources for home improvements.
Some other avenues to check out include getting recommendations and references fromfriends, family and others who have used the contractor for similar work as yours. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau can also provide meaningful feedback on the success rate or lack of regarding specific contractors. Like we mentioned earlier, this may take some digging but the search and/or research will be worth it.
Estimates, not Guess-ta-mates
At this point you compiled a list of potential contractors, time to make some more calls and get estimates. The smart money says get at least three written estimates and those estimates should be based on the contractor coming to your home. They need to see what needs to be done. Meaningful comparisons can only be done if each contractor estimates the same work. So don’t invite one to look at the roof and another to look at the driveway.
Contracts and Insurance
Well you’re almost there… There are just a few more things for finding a home improvement service in Rochester NY. Remember the building inspection department we mentioned earlier? You can contact them again to check for permit and inspection requirements regarding your project. And be sure your contractor is insured, personal liability, property damage and worker’s compensation insurance for the crew is not something that is skimmed over to save money. If someone is hurt on the job guess who is liable?
One final word: with most home improvements, federal law gives you three (3) business days to cancel without penalty. But check your local regulations for full clarification.
Home improvements should be just that. An improvement! Common sense and education on your part will add up to an even better home for you and your family.