With the arrival of spring, many Bethesda homeowners turn their thoughts to improving their properties. Perhaps they want to install energy-efficient windows. Perhaps they want someone to inspect the air conditioning before Maryland’s summer humidity sets in. Or perhaps they want to finally replace that decades-old roof. Whatever the project, the majority of homeowners will require a trustworthy contractor to perform the work—there are some jobs that you simply can’t DIY.
Unfortunately, this quest for reliable home improvement contractors proves to be a significant obstacle for many homeowners. They may not know where to begin to find a quality expert, or they choose a contractor that turns out to be anything but trustworthy. The fear of being fleeced causes many homeowners to put off work that should be done sooner rather than later—ultimately resulting in more expensive repairs down the line.
Bethesda homeowners should not feel daunted by the prospect of finding a home improvement contractor. Plenty of resources are available to find the professional you need:
Word of Mouth
Even in our digital world, word of mouth remains the most popular way to find a contractor. Your friends, family, and social networks often can recommend professionals for all sorts of home improvement specialties—all it takes is a quick phone call, email, or post on Facebook to learn others’ valuable opinions on whom to hire to work on your property.
The People in Your Neighborhood
Continuing the word-of-mouth theme, your Bethesda neighbors are also a valuable resource to find a trustworthy home improvement contractor. The great aspect of this strategy is that you often can see the finished product, especially if it’s an outdoor project such as the roof or siding. Plus, you have a whole block of neighbors at your disposal to ask for recommendations.
Find a Contractor Online
Online review and referral sites have become an important resource to finding home improvement contractors. Sites such as Angie’s List, GuildQuality, and Porch offer reviews of contractors, and even Yelp and Google—sites not generally associated with home improvement—can provide ratings and comments from satisfied (or unsatisfied) local customers. Even if you don’t start your search online, these resources are valuable to see what others think about a potential contractor.
The Better Business Bureau
The Greater Maryland Better Business Bureau isn’t just a resource for determining if a complaint has been lodged against a home improvement contractor—it’s also an avenue for finding trustworthy professionals. Through the BBB’s Accredited Business program, the agency certifies contractors as trustworthy and ethical, thus providing confidence that the expert you are hiring has been vetted both formally and by customers.
All sorts of home improvement contractors belong to professional organizations and might even be formally certified by those groups. Subsequently, these organizations’ websites often are good resources to find a contractor for your home. Some of these groups are:
- National Roofing Contractors Association
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
- National Association of Landscape Professionals
Experts Recommending Experts
The best home improvement contractors undoubtedly provide outstanding work, but they can also be a resource for recommending you to other professionals outside their area of expertise. In other words, which experts do the experts trust? This is akin to a doctor recommending a surgeon he or she would trust to operate on a family member—often, excellence recognizes related excellence. In our latest e-book, The Maryland Homeowner’s Handbook to Trusted Contractors, BRAX Roofing has compiled an extensive list of home improvement contractors that we rely upon to deliver quality work.
No matter how you find a contractor, do your homework, ask plenty of questions, and write an online review so that others can benefit from your experience.