How Do I Choose a Contractor?
The best way to find a contractor is through a personal referral from a friend or acquaintance.
Once you have several names, go on line to check their credentials:
- Maryland Home Improvement Commission
(www.dllr.state.md.us./license/occprof/homeim.html) to see if the renovation contractor is licensed.
- Maryland Attorney General
(www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder) to see if the home builder is licensed.
- Better Business Bureau
(www.baltimore.bbb.org) to see if the contractor has any complaints and if those complaints have been resolved.
Also inquire as to how long the contractor has been in business. Business longevity is a good indicator of a stable, well organized contractor that takes pride in his work.
In addition, talk to past clients of the contractor and ask specific questions:
- Was he fair?
- Did he communicate well?
- Did he perform as promised?
- Was the project finished on time and within budget?
Also, look at some jobs in progress to see if the sites are neat, clean and well kept. Check to see if the framing is straight and if the finish work is crisp and well crafted.
Do not select a contractor on the basis of price alone or the lowest bid. The lowest price is often a mistake in estimating that will cost the contractor who may look for ways to make up for that mistake. You want a relationship with a qualified contractor who will make a fair profit while working hard to provide you with the new home or addition of your dreams.