Contractors are an excellent resource for major projects around the home. They can use their skillset to address issues such as home renovation, heating, plumbing and air-conditioning. However, not all contractors are the same.

Some contractors are more dedicated than others. And it’s up to you to find the right person for the job. Luckily, there are three main aspects you can investigate before handing over any payments.

Pricing

It’s smart to research different contractors in your area and see what the estimates would be like for your specific project. You could ask family and friends for their contractors, or you can look online and cross-reference local contractors with the Better Business Bureau.

If you allow more time for research, you will find a contractor that fits your criteria and completes the project with your budget. Do not rush this step, or you may regret the costs later in the renovation process.

References

Before hiring anyone, it’s always smart to ask for references – even if they seem like the perfect employee. It gives you a realistic idea of what the person is like, how they work and their previous results.

If you could get references from family and friends, it would be the most trustworthy in terms of hiring anyone. However, if you are hiring someone online or a local business, ask them for references that you can contact in your spare time.

Properly Licensed

It’s critical to hire a contractor that is licensed in North Carolina and is willing to show verification of the licensing before starting any job. In North Carolina, potential contractors have to apply for their license with the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors. They will be asked to complete several requirements, including:

  • Identifying your license limitation and classification
  • Pass the exam associated with the license classification
  • Disclose their financial records
  • Register any business with the NC Secretary of State
  • Pay any fees associated with the application and licenses

In North Carolina, any contractor who bids or constructs a project in excess of $30,000 must be licensed by the State of North Carolina.  The person or the entity that enters the contract must be the person or entity that is licensed. It is a huge red flag if a contractor won’t discuss their license, and it leaves you liable if they do not have a license and have major renovation issues in the future. For example, if the contractor makes a mistake, you won’t be able to receive the proper compensation for the damages because they won’t have the proper insurance to cover those payments.

Before you hire any contractor, make sure to ask the right questions and allow time to make a decision that works for you. No one should dictate how you fix your home.