Guest blog post by Mario Greco, Prudential Rubloff
These are challenging economic times. Consumers facing soaring gas prices, tighter household budgets and a work environment in which they are just as likely to get laid off as they are to receive a cost-of-living increase are searching for ways to save money. USA Today, in its May 1 edition, reported that stick-shift cars are making a comeback, largely because they are less expensive than their automatic brethren.
But there are times when looking for the least expensive alternative is not always the best choice. It’s why I tell my clients to never skimp when it comes to hiring a contractor.
Whether my clients need to update their kitchens or bathrooms before putting their homes on the market or are ready to build their dream homes, I always recommend that they work with a qualified contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, I tell my clients to seek out a professional company that has experience in the home-building and remodeling business. A newcomer to the industry might charge less. But consumers take a significant risk when they hire an inexperienced contractor in an effort to save money.
I tell my clients, too, to only work with contractors who are licensed and registered to do business in Illinois and have both liability and worker’s compensation insurance protection.
My clients also know how important it is to ask the contractor they interview for a list of references. And I emphasize that my clients should contact these references once they have a list. Past customers, after all, can tell my clients whether contractors showed up on time, completed the job when they promised, turned in quality work and cleaned up after themselves. They can also tell my clients how quickly contractors returned to fix any problems or add the final touches that are sometimes missed in the rush of construction and remodeling.
Finally, I advise my clients to look up potential contractors with the Better Business Bureau. This is a great source of information about whether contractors have a history of performing their duties well.
This may seem like a lot of homework. But few of my clients have investments that are more important than their homes. And whether they’re preparing a residence for sale or building a new home, I want to make sure that my clients receive the best service possible. That service invariably comes from a professional, qualified contractor – not necessarily from the cheapest.