Home improvements can be giant undertakings if you aren’t prepared and ask for the right help.  Sometimes finding the right person for the job is the first major step you need to take to get your project off on the right foot.  Keep these things in mind when looking for and working with a professional in their field.


Ask a Friend

Ask neighbors for someone they’d recommend for the type of work you are wanting to have done or for referrals within your community.  Working with someone who is familiar with the area or community will be helpful and you might even get a discount or deal.  When asking for a suggestion from neighbors or friends, get an honest assessment of their experience with the contractor.  Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, maybe even ask what the worst part of working with them was or what they’d change if they could do it all over again.


Portfolio and References

Like any application for a job, you want to see their resume of work.  Ask to see their portfolio of work or website where before and after pictures are on display.  It’s good to see the before picture so you can see what they were able to accomplish.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their previous work as well – how much did that particular improvement or addition cost, was it considered a big upgrade using a better material.  A portfolio is also a fantastic way to communicate visually with your professional.  If you like something they’ve done in the past, reference it so they’ll know what style and look you are going for.


The First Meeting

When you meet with your professional for the first time, ask the right questions.  Ask how long the project will take to complete from start to finish, what happens if it goes overtime or overbudget, and what the timeline is for starting.  Get all your information up front so you know all of the variables.  Things happen and plans change, but you want to show that you are on top of it from the beginning.


Stick to the Plan

Once you have a timeline set, stick to it.  Even if you need to push and follow up to get the job done, it will be worth it to stay on track.  Get the job done as quickly as possible so you aren’t stuck in project limbo.  Nothing is as bad as being stuck in the middle of a project that is taking up space in your house and your life.


First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

If you get a bad vibe or aren’t getting a reassuring feeling from the first meeting, find someone else.  Know you will have to communicate and work with this person and if it’s odd from the start, it will be odd the whole way through.  If they aren’t working hard from the start to gain your trust, you’ll never feel comfortable in their hands during the whole project.  Find someone that makes you feel in capable hands.


Trying to find the right pro for the job can be challenging, but keep these suggestions in mind to make it smoother and easier.