Finding A Great General Contractor in Maryland
If you need remodeling or home improvement work done in Maryland, you’re probably looking for a handyman or general contractor that can help. But with every so-and-so with a pickup truck waiting to take your money, how can you find one your can rely on to get the job done right?
Maryland is a state with one of the highest concentrations of contractors, especially roofing contractors in Annapolis, MD, Crofton, Gambrills, and other areas nearby. Read this article to learn 5 ways you can sort the wheat from the chaff and get a reliable contractor at a fair price.
5 Ways To Find A Contractor You Can Trust
There are many ways to go about choosing a general contractor in Maryland, but it’s easy to miss important details and end up feeling scammed you don’t follow these 5 steps.
1) Check Their License
Always, always, always check to make sure that your general contractor is licensed and bonded. The state of Maryland requires that all home improvement contractors and subcontractors be certified by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. This commission regulates the contracting industry in Maryland and pursues compensation on behalf of individuals whose properties are damaged by negligent or careless workmanship.
To confirm that your Maryland contractor is insured, ask to see their MHIC number. This will let you know that the contractor you are considering is an experienced, legitimate business that is trusted by the state.
For more information, visit: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mhic/
2) Get References & Testimonials
Does the contractor in question have any satisfied customers her can offer as a reference? An easy way to tell a seasoned contractor from a fly-by-nighter is if they can easily point to other customers who’ve used their services in the past. If a general contractor comes to you without references to vouch for quality of work, your best bet is to look somewhere else.
Even if a contractor does provide you with references, it’s always a good idea to follow up on them. Are they legitimate references? Call them up and find out. If you reach the reference, ask them which service the contractor provided and if they were happy with the quality.
3) Read Reviews Online
Online reviews are a quick way to tell whether a contractor is trustworthy or not. When looking for trustworthy reviews, choose sites with moderators that check to make sure the reviews posted on their site are legitimate. Sites like Angies List and Yelp are a great way to find reviews written by real customers.
Be careful, though — some fake reviews can still slip through the cracks. Make sure you check several sources to get a full picture for the level of trust you can have in a contractor.
4) Check Their Portfolio
If a general contractor takes pride in their work, they’ll usually have a portfolio showcasing some of their best work. These portfolios can give you a look into the skills and building style the contractor is experienced with. This will allow you to see if the contractor is a good fit for your needs.
A well-rounded general contractor will have examples that cover a wide scope of projects. Whether you want to see siding, roofing, gutters, windows, or home remodeling, make sure you contractor can show pictures that demonstrate his skills in the services you need.
5) Trust Your Gut
After talking with a contractor for a few minutes, you might get a sinking feeling that you can’t trust them. Listen to that feeling! There are many signs that may be tipping you off, including if the contractor:
- Avoids your questions about price
- Refuses to give an estimate before the work is started
- Doesn’t have any credentials or references
- Won’t tell you who his or her suppliers are
- Can’t tell you how long he’s been in business