What you should do before hiring a contractor

Check that they’re licensed and insured.

Working with a contractor that’s licensed and insured is essential for your protection. Insurance protects the contractors from accidents on the job, meaning you won’t be financially responsible for injuries while working in your home. A license guarantees that the contractor is operating legally and paying taxes. Combined, a license and insurance make it easy to track down your contractor if you have any legal issues with your renovation.

Check the contractor’s reviews.

If a contractor has experience, they should have reviews from previous clients. Check their website, social media accounts, and Google business page to see what past clients have said. Make sure to be thinking about what you need in a contractor: communication skills, budget and time considerations, design suggestions, professionalism, and more!

Research the contractor's team.

Look into the contractor’s team to determine whether you’d like them working for you. Do they have their own team? How long have they been working with their subcontractors and partners? Are they just flipping through the Yellow Pages for the cheapest guy in town? Remember that all their subcontractors will be in and out of your home. It’s often preferable to find one contractor with a team that can take care of your entire project.

Meet your contractor before committing

Even if it’s over the phone or online, it’s important to talk through your project with a potential contractor before making a decision. Straight Line is happy to offer Zoom meetings with clients for their safety and convenience. Before we meet, we’ll ask you to send us a description and inspiration images that show what you’re looking for. During the call, our team will introduce themselves and discuss your project. You’ll then receive a preliminary proposal in as little as 24 to 48 hours, be invited to visit our Gainesville or Ocala showroom, and be asked to schedule a home visit.

Look for a contractor that will educate you.

The best contractors are those that educate you throughout the process. Being informed lets you follow along and make the right decisions for your renovation. If you ever feel like your contractor is speaking in a way you don’t understand, they’re failing to educate you on the renovation process. Straight Line works to educate you at every step of the renovation process so you know exactly what to expect from your home renovation!

Don't let price be the deciding factor.

Many contractors cut corners to get you a low price. That could mean making sacrifices in the quality of subcontractors, materials, and more. Having a realistic budget is an important piece of your renovation, but talk with your contractor about how they’re going to maximize your budget. Straight Line uses a process called value engineering to optimize our labor time and get the most out of your budget. Our expertise, supplier relationships, and in-house team let us get better results without breaking the bank.

Don't pay up front.

Be careful with contractors that ask for full or large deposit payments up front. When you still have your money in hand, you have a lot more control over deciding when your project is complete. If you’ve already paid your contractor for a majority of the work and aren’t satisfied with their output, you’ll have trouble convincing them to fix any issues that come up.

Put it in writing.

A good contractor should put every step of the process, including costs and pricing, in writing. Doing so prevents surprises and additional costs. Having your own copy of this information is best so you’ don’t need to argue over what was said or try to remember what’s going on with your project.