Hiring the right contractor to remodel or renovate your home can be a difficult task. You are placing your home, trust, and money in someone else’s hands. If you choose the wrong person, things can go horribly wrong. Choosing the wrong contractor can result in a botched renovation jobs, wasted money, and even debt.

It is crucial to hire a contractor who has good experience, good references, and also good credentials. This is why it is extremely important to do your homework before you hire one.

Here are 5 tips for hiring a professional contractor.

1. Ask Friends and Family

The first thing you should do when you start searching for a contractor is ask around. Ask your friends and family — people you trust who you know would give you a straight, honest answer. Ask them  how they felt about the work that was completed by the contractor. Was it completed on time? Was the contractor easy to communicate with? Asking people you know is a surefire way to get an honest, reliable response, as they will always have your best interests in mind.

2. Do Your Research

When you are deciding on hiring a contractor, always do your research. Go online, visit their website, and read reviews of the work they have completed. You can also call their former clients to find out how the job went, if it was finished on time, and what it was like to work with the contractor.

3. Don’t Let Price Be the Deciding Factor

The lowest price isn’t always the best price. In fact, the lowest offer may be the one you should think of throwing out. When it comes to construction, you get what you pay for. If a contractor is charging more, they are likely doing so for a reason. Sometimes it is better to spend more money to get the most out of your renovation project.

4. Do a Phone Interview

Before hiring a contractor, create a list of potential contractors you are interested in. You can find contractors online, through friends or family, or through directories. Once you have a list, contact each contractor by phone. You should also prepare a list of questions to ask them. The answers to these questions can give you a good gauge of the kind of work they do, the experience they have, and what it might be like to work with them. Here is a list of potential questions you should ask

  • Can they provide references?
  • Do they have a list of previous clients?
  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • Do they have any other projects going on at the same time?

5. Meet Face to Face

Finally, after doing all your research, it will be time to meet the contractor face to face. Choose three or four contractors and meet with them to discuss the project and get an estimate. Meeting them face to face and having them answer your questions will give you an idea of their confidence level and communication skills.