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Hiring your Next Service Provider – Tips for Success

Photo by:  Jonathan VelasquezAre you a homeowner looking to hire a service provider for a new home project or renovation in Prince Edward Island?

Undoubtedly, you have heard negative stories from other people’s experience. Perhaps you’ve heard about the service provider that disappeared before the job was completed or caused a bigger a problem than he solved.

Hiring a good contractor requires some research on the part of the homeowner. After all, it is your home and your money so you want to make sure that you choose wisely.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that you make a wise choice:

Get Recommendations

Be sure to check with family and friends before selecting your next service provider. Nothing beats a good referral. Find out whether they had a positive or negative experience, and if they would use that person again.

In addition, read any reviews posted online (such as those on our site) from past customers of the service provider; if the service provider you hire is listed on, leave a review of your experience to help fellow Islanders select their next service provider.

Check their Credentials

Make sure that they are qualified to do the job. What is their experience? Do research to ensure that the contractor has the required licenses to operate (when applicable).

Phone Screen

Once you have narrowed down your list, conduct a phone screen of prospective service providers. Create a list of questions to ask, such as:

  • How long have you worked in this field?
  • Do you take on projects such as mine?
  • Can you provide me a list of previous clients?

Check the References

Follow up with the list of references provided by the service provider. Find out what kind of work the contractor provided for them.

  • Were they pleased with the job?
  • How was the contractor’s attitude?
  • How long did it take the job to be completed?
  • Providing the project scope did not change, was the project within the originally agreed price?

Seek to get as much information as you can to allow you to have an understanding of the contractor’s work ethics. It’s always recommended to check more than one reference.

Make a Selection

Get bids from the contractors. Ask them to give you a detailed idea of the cost breakdown, including cost of materials, labour and other expenses. Compare the various bids.

Put it in Writing

It is very important that you put everything in writing. Whatever you and the service provider have agreed upon, ensure that it is documented. The contract should be as detailed as possible, covering payment plans, changes to the scope of work, projected completion time, etc.

The contractor should have proof of liability insurance and this should be noted in the contract. Also, make sure that you are not held responsible should the contractor fail to pay subcontractors.

Move forward

While these tips are not exhaustive, hopefully they provide some guidance for you as you move forward. Remember to take the time to do research, so you can mitigate problems in the end. All the best in your home project!

If the service provider you choose is listed on our site, we invite you to leave a review of their work. Your review will take only a couple of minutes to complete and will help fellow Islanders select their next service provider (and hopefully reviews from others will also help you select your next service provider!)

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