You have finally made the decision to make renovations on your home. You have the funds. You know what you want done. Now, all you have to do is select a contractor to do the job. However, this step is the most crucial step of the home improvement process. No matter how much funds you have or how grand your desired designs are, only a quality contractor can turn your dreams into a reality. For this reason, you must be educated on how to select a quality contractor.

Luckily, this guide covers the essential information you need to select a quality contractor.

The first step to selecting any quality contractor is to make sure they are licensed. Licensed contractors must uphold certain standards to maintain their status, so you can be assured that they perform quality work. Aside from guaranteed quality, a licensed contractor means a legal renovations. In many states, it is illegal for unlicensed contractors to perform renovations. So, when considering contractors, make sure they are licensed to avoid spotty work and legal problems!

After ensuring that your contractor is licensed, the next step you should take is inquiring about their past work. Research their websites and other review sites, such as Home Advisor, for customer testimonials. Customers will be brutally honest about work done to their homes—especially if it was bad work. Finding evidence of quality work is an essential part of selecting a quality contractor. Doing so can be the difference between obtaining your dream home and getting tricked into hiring a less-than-stellar contractor!

Now that you have inquired about licenses and researched customer reviews, your next step should be inquiring about materials used. No matter how talented a contractor is, poor quality equipment will always result in poor quality work. Any worthwhile contractor will be more than knowledgeable of the quality of material they use.  In fact, many contractors take pride in giving their customers top of the line materials. If your desired contractor tries to avoid this question, send them packing!

The final step you should take when selecting a contractor is comparing their prices with competitors. Naturally, you will want to get a good deal, but there are other factors you should consider. For instance, if your contractor’s prices are considerably lower than all competitors, you should consider someone else. Chances are that this too good to be true estimate is just that: too good to be true. The low price contractor is most likely hiding fees or using poor-quality materials. On the other hand, you don’t want to select a contractor that is charging ridiculous amounts. They are likely trying to take advantage of your willingness to spend, and would likely take the price down if you refused. So, when selecting a contractor, make sure the prices are both fair, and feasible. Otherwise, you could end up sinking money into poor work, or paying ridiculous amounts for jobs that could have been done cheaper.

Home renovations should be a positive experience. Unfortunately, there are some contractors who only want money, and they are willing to rip you off along the way. For this reason, you should put a lot of thought into your contractor selection. Inquire about licensing, research customer reviews, ensure quality equipment, and compare prices! Following these steps should ensure that your home gets the quality renovations that it needs.