When setting out to build a new home or make renovations, choosing the right home contractor can be a challenge.
The total amount spent on home improvements nationally is huge. In 2015, the figure stood at $326 billion.
You definitely want to make sure that your money is going to the right contractor for the job. It’s especially important to choose the right one in the Outer Banks, since the area has unique characteristics that a contractor should know about.
Want to know exactly how to find the perfect one? Read on to find out how you can find the best home contractors in the Outer Banks.
Get a Referral from a Trusted Source
The Federal Trade Commission emphasizes the importance of doing your research before hiring a contractor to work on your home.
Get reviews from friends and family that you trust. Also, check out online reviews from past customers of home contractors in the Outer Banks on trusted review portals like Angie’s List.
Pay attention to what former customers say about timeliness, responsiveness and general professionalism from the contractor.
Employees from hardware stores can also help, given that they know who in the area is well respected and consistent with their work.
Find a Company That’s Done Similar Jobs Before
The last thing you want is a contractor who uses your project as a test case.
To avoid your work being the guinea pig for an inexperienced contractor, check out the company’s portfolio of work they’ve done before.
The more experience they have with similar work, the safer you should feel putting your valuable home in their hands.
For example, did you know that the humidity in the Outer Banks is a special feature you need to be aware of? Experienced local home contractors in the Outer Banks not only know this, but know exactly how to deal with it.
Make Sure the Contractor Is Licensed and Insured
A lack of licensing and insurance is a huge red flag when you are researching your contractor.
Get in touch with their insurer or the company that provides their building bond to make sure it’s up to date or ask to see a copy for yourself. Liability insurance for the contractor is equally as important as your home insurance.
And don’t forget to confirm if there are any permits you might need for the work you plan to carry out. You don’t want to risk a city official hitting you with a fine for your renovation later, or worse, having to demolish the whole thing!
When you speak to contractors you’re thinking about hiring, ask them what permits or licenses are usually needed, if any. They should be able to answer you confidently or at the very least, be able to find out.
Hire a General Contractor, Not a Tradesperson
It can be tempting to hire a tradesperson for each task as it looks cheaper initially. You probably don’t want to do that though.
Permits and licensing, as shown above, are just one reason you need a contractor who can complete it all for you, even if they are using subcontractors for minor work.
The time that you might spend finding searching for multiple tradespeople is frustrating and inefficient. Remember, time is money!
General home contractors in the Outer Banks are likely to get better deals on materials from places like Kellogg Supply and other suppliers.
This saves you more in the long run than a tradesperson who does not buy as much from suppliers as a general contractor.
Call the Contractor and Ask Questions
A good contractor will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Some of the questions to ask include if they can give you a list of previous clients, how many projects will they be working on while yours is ongoing, and what work will be done by subcontractors.
Communication doesn’t stop once you’ve started the job either. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see something that concerns you. The longer you wait, the harder construction issues are to correct.
Some home contractors even have online systems where you can track the progress of work from wherever you are. This is especially important if your place is a vacation home and you aren’t present while the work is happening.
See at Least Three Home Contractors in the Outer Banks Before You Decide
Once you’ve done your initial research you can narrow down your choices by who has the better certifications, experience, and competency to back them up.
For example, does the contractor have a relationship with a trusted home warranty provider like Bonded Builders?
Compare their bids too and make sure they include the same things so it’s an equal comparison. Don’t just pick the lowest price though, as super-low quotes usually mean crappy work.
Sign a Contract That Details Every Aspect of the Work
A contract should include even the smallest details to make sure things run smoothly. Major aspects should always be in writing.
This means a payment schedule that includes specific progress markers, deadlines, materials to be used (and who will provide them). Final payments, in particular, shouldn’t be made until you are satisfied the work matches what your contract says.
Be sure any adjustments to the project are put in writing, both for clarity and to protect yourself. Verbal agreements are often unclear or easily forgotten, especially in the case of a dispute.
Some home contractors in the Outer Banks provide their own contract, but you can ask for special additions for anything you’re concerned about.
Need a Contractor Now?
To sum it up, if you’re looking for the best home contractors in the Outer Banks, contact a company that’s reliable and has a reputation for good work.
The Outer Banks Renovations and Construction team has over 58 years of experience under their belts and check all the boxes for a great home contractor. Contact us to get started on your renovation or new build today.