In this two-part post we look at how to choose a contractor or interior designer. There are any number of reasons you may be in the market for a contractor or interior designer. Perhaps you have just moved into a fixer upper, or you want to make some necessary repairs as you prepare to sell your home. Maybe it’s time to stop talking about remodeling the kitchen, bath or back yard, and just get it done!
Whatever the reason, we know finding a trusted professional for a big job can be daunting, and thought these tips would be useful in your quest for the best contractor or interior designer!
10 Tips to Choose a Contractor or Interior Designer – Part 1
- Start with a clear plan of the work you want done. Before you begin your search for a contractor or interior designer, know what you want to do and have a ballpark of what your budget will be. Find pictures that give an idea of what you would like to achieve and give thought to specific functionality or aesthetic details you want to have in the space. The clearer you are on what you want, the more likely you are to find the contractor or interior designer that works best for you.
- Ask your friends and colleagues for referrals. Notice that there is an S at the end of referral! Get 5-10 solid referrals and narrow them down. Remember to use your social media networks to inquire within an even larger pool of people. Whomever you work needs to be a good fit for you on many levels. Set your sights on finding a fantastic contractor or interior designer that really suits YOU well!
- Check the reputation and background of your contractor or interior designer. The most important tip we can offer is, “do the legwork required to find a good contractor!” In a methodical and organized way, ask around and find out all you can about each contractor or interior designer you seriously consider. Your home is a big investment and your sanity throughout the project is priceless! Call their references and the Better Business Bureau. Use your favorite search engine to look for any positive or negative online press on them. There is a reason that complaints by homeowners against contractors make up one of the largest categories of consumer complaints at the state’s attorney office. We suggest you break this into two stages. Prior to getting bids, do a thorough job of checking on their reputation. As you narrow down the bids, revisit the references, reviews and letters of recommendation for your top choices.
- Use online review sites with a critical eye. There are great online review services for contractors and interior designers. Remember to take what you read with a grain of salt. Negative reviews are not always what they seem. Take a look at the business owner’s reply (if it is there) to get their side of the story. Keep in mind that competitors and disgruntled people can lash out in unfair ways. Likewise, if you see glowing reviews all chock full of fluff and lacking the substance, specifics and passion that a REAL “happy camper” customer would have, you my want to give them less weight. Put on your critical-thinking hat and look for trends!
- Make sure to get bids from several companies or individuals. Once you have your referrals and a handful of other options (found via the internet, phone book, and local print and online directories), it’s time to sort through them and see who makes it to the next round. Pick your top choices and get a bid from each. Ideally, three or more!
Please check back on February 4, 2014 to read our next post which covers the remaining 5 Tips on How to Choose a Contractor or Interior Designer.
Cummings Moving Company | Residential & Small Business Moving & Storage | San Francisco Movers
Cummings Moving Company is a family owned and operated moving & storage company proud of its well-established reputation in San Francisco and throughout the region – reflected in their extended residential, small business and Realtor referrals. The company is a female, minority, and veteran-owned and operated moving company with over 45 years of exceptional client service – spanning the entire country and beyond. For more information about quality, stress-free moving, in San Francisco please call 415-387-4000 or from the Peninsula call 650-629-3000. Request a Free Moving Quote HERE or continue to explore our website and San Francisco Blog.
The advice on our website and blog is provided as a courtesy and is intended for informational purposes only. It is offered as-is with no warranty expressed or implied. We hope it provides you with helpful information that you can use.
Photo Credit – A special thank you to Carol Woodard of Woodard and Associates
“At Woodard & Associates we create environments that accommodate today’s active lifestyle. Our clients expect quality, value, and timeless design.”