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"Top Tips for Landing on a Contractor's List and Securing an Estimate"

We all know that when spring hits in Alaska, life gets BUSY! There are projects to complete, and only a few months to get them done. Here are some tips on how to streamline the process and secure an estimate with the right contractor.

  1. Do some research to find the right company for the job. Make sure the contractor you are scheduling for an estimate performs the scope of work you need. Give them a call to chat about your project, go to their websites or social media pages, look at reviews, and ask for recommendations from people you know. Who did they use that they were happy with? If you know you want to work with a specific contractor- make that known. If a contractor knows they are your first choice to work with, they will likely make your estimate a priority.

  2. Know your budget. The fastest way to get your project narrowed down and reserve your space on a contractor's schedule is to know your budget and go over this with the contractor. Many of us are unsure of what kind of cost go with different projects. Transparency on both cost and budget can take a lot of the guess work out of things. This will start you and your contractor off on the same page and get you moving in the right direction quickly. ---If you are worried that a contractor will use this information against you or to unmeritedly take your money, go back to #1.

  3. Know your priorities for the project. Once you have your budget down, you may have to make choices on what can be completed and what cannot. Have this in your mind ahead of time so when the contractor returns your estimate, you are ready to make a quick decision that will hold your quoted price and get you on their schedule.

  4. Don't bargain prices. Skilled labor isn't cheap, and cheap labor isn't skilled. All contractors have different set-ups and different expenses that go with their business. You will find differences in both cost and experience amongst the contractors that perform the same work. This is another reason that going back to #1, and why finding the right company for the job is important.

  5. Ask yourself these 3 questions to immediately vet your contractor. If any of the answers are NO, it's time to move on. If all the answers are YES- Proceed ahead! 1. Does this contractor perform the scope of work I need done? 2. Do I believe this contractor will be able to satisfy my needs? 3. Will I be able to work well with this contractor?

If the answer to any of these are no- you're likely going to have a subpar- if not terrible experience. If they are all yes, your chances of having a good experience and a quality product that you are happy with is much greater!

Utilizing these top 5 tips is a great way to eliminate the hassle and frustration that many people feel before, during, and after hiring a contractor. Be honest and transparent with the contractor about what you want- and what you're looking for. Don't hide aspects of the project. Having a project done right the first time is IMPORTANT; cutting corners whether done by the homeowner or the contractor will lead to more money, and more time. Do your research, share pertinent information, and you'll be sure to hire the right contractor for the job!

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