Home Improvement Quotes

As a responsible homeowner, you want to be sure that you are getting the best deal for your home improvement work. You know that getting the best deal does not always mean going with the lowest price, but rather hiring a contractor that offers good value for what you are paying. Homeowners need to be aware of the many ways that they can evaluate home improvement quotes and find a contractor they can trust.

Start With a Variety of Quotes

You can get referrals from people you know, talk to the home improvement stores to see which contractors they trust, and use online referral sites to get a steady stream of contractors you can talk to. It is always best to get quotes from as many contractors as possible so you can compare information and determine which contractor you ultimately want to hire.

Have a Personal Meeting with Each Contractor

You can tell a lot about the way a company does business simply by insisting that each contractor come to your home to discuss the project. The contractors that either do not show up or keep finding reasons to put off your meeting are not contractors you want to hire.

Prior to each meeting, tell the contractors that you want to see a copy of their contractor's license, their insurance coverage, and the written guarantee they offer on their work. Any contractor that does not take the time to make these copies for you is already showing signs of being unreliable and should not be considered for your project.

After wading through the contractors that could not meet the minimum meeting requirements, you will be able to speak to contractors that take your project seriously. Ask each contractor questions about their business and how they go about each project and pay close attention to how they answer. You will want to hire the contractor you feel most comfortable with and the contractor that gives you the most confidence in their abilities.

Set a Deadline for Quotes

You will need to take into account the time of year you are asking for quotes when you set a deadline for getting bids back from contractors. To be fair, the spring and summer are usually the busiest time of the year for contractors and most people book their spring and summer work months in advance. During the spring and summer, you should set a realistic deadline of two weeks for contractors to submit their bids. During the off-season, you should set a deadline of one week for bids to be submitted.

Examine Each Bid against the Guidelines You Set

Professional contractors will see aspects of your project that you may have missed and they will cover those aspects in their bids. For example, you may think you are asking for a simple roof removal and replacement project, but you find that several of the quotes you receive include new decking for the roof. That is because the reputable contractors examined your project close enough to see that your decking needs to be replaced, which is an important part of any good roofing project.

Examine your bids and consider the ones that offer the most complete service for the best price. If a couple of contractors left out the roof decking, then they may be trying to get the job from you at a cheap price. While that helps to get the contractors a job, it does not offer you the best value because you need to have your decking replaced. You will notice right away which bids are comprehensive and which ones are just trying to dazzle you with a low price. Disregard the cheap bids and consider the ones that offer the best value and most complete project scope.

As you compare the best quotes to your project scope, you will be able to see which contractors are truly interested in doing the best job possible. You can do some further research on the contractors by checking their records with the Better Business Bureau, and by doing an Internet search to see if there are any consistent complaints from past customers. With all of that information in hand, you should be able to make the right choice from the quotes you have received.