Even if you’re an expert DIYer, some home projects need the help of a licensed home repair contractor. If you’ve never worked with one before, moved to a new area, or haven’t needed a contractor for some time, finding the right one can be challenging—but also very rewarding.
Whether you’re starting a claim with a home warranty, kicking off a home project, or making sure your home runs smoothly, these tips on choosing a home repair contractor can help you find the right person for the job with very little effort.
Get Referrals from Family and Friends
Finding a contractor you can trust to work in your home is important. The best way to help ensure this is to ask your network of family and friends for a referral. Doing so, you can start building a short list of reputable contractors that are pre-qualified to meet certain standards and requirements.
Contact a Local Trade Organization
Speaking of standards and requirements, your state should have one or more non-profit trade organizations that can help you identify contractors who have met the rigorous standards and requirements of trusted organizations. This shows they are being monitored by the organization and are currently in good standing.
For example, if you live in Michigan and need a home repair contractor, the Associated General Contractors website can point you to specialty and general contractors that should be able to meet your needs. Similar sites can be found in other states through a quick Google search.
Having trouble finding a trade organization in your area? If you’re an APHW customer, we might know a licensed local contractor in your area that can help you with covered repairs.
Find Someone Who’s Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
Non-profit trade organizations can be very helpful with locating licensed contractors. A license ensures an individual or company is legally able to perform work, and also helps prove that a contractor has the training and applied skills to maintain the license.
A contractor that is bonded means they will guarantee work is completed as specified in an agreement. It also means they will follow any rules or regulations that are connected to their trade. For example, a licensed electrician will be required to follow state and industry guidelines when they work on your electrical system. If they fail to do so, you as a homeowner can make a claim against their bond and receive compensation if the claim is successful.
Insurance is also an important part of finding the right contractor, helping to ensure protection for both you and the contractor in the event of injury or damages. This means if the contractor is hurt on the job, you most likely won’t be held liable. It also means that if a repair causes damage to other parts of your home, those repairs won’t come out of your budget.
Read Ratings and Reviews from Other Customers
Whether you get referrals from family and friends, or look for a contractor on your own, another way to gauge a contractor’s abilities is by reading customer ratings and reviews.
These days, most contractors have a website or social media page that helps promote their business, which means they may have Google reviews or Facebook reviews that can help you narrow down your list. If you see a lot of good recommendations, it’s probably a safe bet that the contractor has the knowledge and experience to get the job done right.
Choose the Right Contractor for the Job
Not all contractors are the same. In fact, many contractors specialize in specific types of projects, like roofing or kitchen appliances, while others are trained and equipped to handle general repair projects.
Knowing the difference between a specialized contractor and general contractor is critical, because you will want someone who can handle a particular repair job in most cases – that is, unless you have more than one project to complete. In the end, choosing the right home repair contractor comes down to what your project requires, and how their skills align with it.
One of the biggest advantages of an APHW home warranty is the ability to “Choose Your Own Licensed Contractor,” which helps support contractors working in your community. It also gives you the benefit of having someone you trust work inside your home, as well as on your preferred schedule. Discover more about APHW and what our home warranties cover.
Call 866.794.0875 or visit APHW.COM today for more information.