Preventative maintenance, repairs, and upgrades are all part of homeownership. It is important that each of these is done correctly with quality materials and expert craftsmanship to maintain the value of the home and the ongoing enjoyment of being a homeowner. Most homeowners are not experienced with home repairs and many aspects of ongoing maintenance. Understandably, they may be a bit overwhelmed and uncertain about hiring a contractor.


With simple advanced planning and research, any homeowner or real estate investor can confidently vet and hire contractors for their real estate projects.


The importance of vetting

Proper vetting is a vital step to ensuring quality work that is often skipped by novice homeowners and investors. Though most people are not experienced with home repairs themselves, almost everyone is related to a contractor or knows someone in that profession. And they will quickly recommend a friend or relative any time the subject comes up. These recommendations can be used to create a short list of possible contractors. But it is still necessary to ask for references and examples of the contractor’s work.


Licensing boards have online verification tools that can be used to verify a contractor is licensed and insured, and to see if there are any safety violations or construction citations against them.


Low-price contractors may ultimately cost more

To find the best price, it is necessary to request and review bids from at least three available contractors for any project. The total costs of any project are always foremost in the mind of anyone hiring a contractor. The contractors know this and know they will be bidding on a job with at least two other contractors. Some contractors will underprice a project just to get the work and ultimately find reasons to add more costs later. The low-price contractors may omit things such as hauling away debris. These same low-price quotes may be using lower-quality materials. If a contractor will cut corners in these areas, it is almost certain they will cut corners in other important areas.


Each bid should be detailed with information about materials, cleanup, and a realistic timeframe for completion. Taking the time to ask detailed questions before the work begins will prevent surprises and unexpected costs later.