Owning a home as a single woman is rewarding in many ways, but it can also be stressful—particularly when it comes to finding and hiring home contractors. This post is specifically targeted to single women homeowners who find themselves in need of the help of a contractor to do home repairs, but the information can help anyone. Here are a few preliminary tips:
- Educate yourself thoroughly on the home issue you’re dealing with. Watch YouTube videos, read home improvement articles and consult with experts at your local home improvement store. Check out the various materials that will likely be used for your project (as well as their costs). You should be able to understand the issue when conversing with prospective contractors.
- If possible, have a male friend or family member call the contractor to set up the appointment. As unfortunate as this may sound, working with a contractor can sometimes be similar to hiring a new mechanic. Some will try to take advantage of a woman who they don’t think is knowledgeable about home repairs.
- Be serious, firm and clear when communicating with the contractor you want to hire. Look at this as a business relationship—and you’re the boss.
- Check sites like CostHelper.com to get a general idea of how much you will spend for the type of repair or home improvement you’re hiring for. This way at least you have a range, and will know if the quote you’re receiving is just ridiculous.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to look for contractors. You want to have plenty of time to hire someone who will be reliable. When you’re pressed for time or desperate, they can sense that. Whenever possible, allow at least two to three weeks to find someone that’s just right for the job.
How to Find a Contractor
One of the most challenging steps of hiring a contractor is finding a good one. Sometimes scrolling through the phone book and calling people just doesn’t work—you get a lot of voicemail pickups (no call backs) or price quotes that might not fit your budget. So sometimes you have to find the right contractor using other sources. Here are a few suggestions for how to find a contractor: