Not all contractors are interested in doing the work associated with 203k loans — or qualified to do so. Due diligence is important when searching for a contractor to handle your renovation project.
So what are some of the ways to find a good contractor?
- Referrals: Ask friends, family, and other people you know about contractors they’ve used in the past. But be sure to ask what kind of projects the contractors did. The fact that someone did a great job on your Aunt Beth’s siding doesn’t necessarily qualify them to handle the $100,000 addition on your home.
- Angie’s List: This is a great resource to find contractors. The site solicits responses from people who have actually used the listed contractors, which keeps the reviews honest. It has an extensive listing of contractors, along with the types of projects they do and other pertinent information. It costs only a few dollars to get membership in your area, and it’s definitely worth it.
- Social media: Think of this as an extension of the referrals I mentioned in item 1. But it also allows you to reach out to a wider circle of acquaintances, who will likely be willing to share their experiences — good or bad — about contractors who have done work similar to what you’re looking for. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are all good resources.
- Houzz.com: This website posts tons of pictures from contractors, along with profiles and reviews. Personally, I use it all the time. You can also use it to create idea books, and get some inspiration for home projects.
- 203k contractors.com: This website is a training ground for contractors who want to learn and understand the 203k process. They go through rigorous 30-day training, during which they provide documentation to prove they are financially able to take on 203k projects. They also undergo an extensive background check, in addition to testing that makes sure they thoroughly understand the process.
We’re always looking for new suggestions to pass along. So if you find any good sources of contractor information other than the five I just listed, please feel free to share them — along with the names of any contractors you’ve found, and any experiences that might be of interest to someone else doing a 203k renovation. I’d love to hear from you!