Choosing the Right Firm for Your Project Choosing the Right FirmWhen homeowners first start to think of their home improvement projects, they may not realize just how many kinds of options they have, the differences between them, and which option may best fit their needs. The following is a summary of the options to consider when choosing the right firm for your project.

Understand your options
To best way to summarize the differences between home improvement firms is to start from the simple to the more complex services they provide. Smaller, miscellaneous projects such as replacing trim boards or some minor electrical work can typically be handled by a Local Handyman or small Independent Contractor. For very specialized projects, such as replacing your gutters or roof, your local handyman simply may not have the tools or expertise. In this case you may want to hire a Tradesperson or Specialty Contractor, those who do only that kind of work on a regular basis. Finally, you have General Contractors, Full-Service Firms, and Architect/Contractors who handle more sophisticated and complex projects. This is if you have a number of projects that you want to take care of, or projects which require very detailed scope and planning, such as a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project. Some of these firms, however, do all of the foregoing items, such as handyman, specialty, and remodeling. They are equipped for more complex projects yet are able to service the more simple. Select a firm that has expertise in your project type
Again, selecting a firm is often based on the kind of work needed. However, while choosing a small Independent Contractor may be appropriate for many smaller, miscellaneous projects, he may not be able to handle all of them. The greater the amount of work, the greater probability that certain items may be too specialized, unique, or challenging. In other words, one person (however skilled he may be) may still not have the specialized skills and resources for the full-range of handyman service needs. Your options at that point are too call in a number of Specialty Tradesman – Gutter Co., Roof Co., Siding Co. – to service each specialized item. If you have 2 or 3 projects going on at the same time, it is a daunting task to do the due diligence on each one, have separate appointments with each and manage those projects and people all on your own. It is the third category of firms – Full-Service, General Contractors, Architect/Contractors – that at least has the way to gather all those resources into one package. The more sophisticated the project, the more sophisticated the firm must be to handle those projects.

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Homeowners may not be aware until projects begin that producing home improvement projects means inviting people to bring their “factory” of equipment and tools into their most cherished realm of privacy and comfort – their home. So choosing who you are going to work with must be someone you trust and are willing to have a relationship with, since projects can often take weeks or months. In addition, consider such obvious credentials as Contractors License, General Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation, Membership Affiliations, Certifications, and Online Reviews (i.e. BBB, Angie’s List). Those credentials mean they are in it for the long-term and abide by governing standards and practices that protect homeowners.

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