There are a lot of contractors in Portland, Oregon. When you want to build a new bathroom or refurbish an out-of-date bath, it’s important to use a set of criteria to make sure you find the contractor which best suits your needs. Here, I’ve put together 5 steps to help you navigate the world of contractors.
1. Who’s #1?
First off, does the contractor put his clients as his top priority? Of course, every contractor will tell you that he does, but ask for references and see if they all confirm this. Did the contractor show up when he said he would? If a contractor is stretched too thin and can’t respond to his client’s needs, this can be a warning flag that he may try to rush through your job and leave behind sub-par work.
2. Assess Workmanship
Does the contractor do top-quality work? See if you can find an older client and see how well the work has held up over time. A new car may drive fine off the lot, but only a few thousand miles will tell whether or not the car is mechanically sound. Ask to see pictures of older work, too. A good contractor is proud of the work he’s done and will be happy to share proof of his great work. Find out as much as you can about the workers he employs. Does he have long-term relationships with his employees and subcontractors?
3. Assess Materials
Find out what sorts of materials a contractor uses. Ask them to tell you where they go for their supplies. Be wary of those who use the ″contractor grade″ materials from the big-box stores. While those may be cheaper, you’re likely to get what you pay for in the long run. A good contractor can deliver a competitive price and still use quality materials.
4. Competitive Prices
Check his prices against other comparable contractors. Once you’ve narrowed down your decision to a few top candidates, get their estimates and see how they match up. If you’ve had friends or family members who’ve had similar work done in their homes, ask them for their opinion.
5. Community Commitment
What sort of commitment does the contractor have to his or her community and environment? Do they seek energy efficiency, use sustainable materials, or implement safe building practices? Try to do business with a contractor who has Portland’s best interests at heart.
Finally, make sure that your contractor is fully licensed and that his work is permitted with the City of Portland. Not every job may need a permit, but check with your contractor and also confer with the City of Portland to make sure that you are not at risk for any future fines, etc. The City’s Permits page is here: https://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=35883. That web page will be helpful in case you have questions or concerns regarding Portland construction permits.