Hiring a contractor should be a simple process.
However, news headlines are often filled with homeowners who have been taken advantage of by an unreliable contractor.
Contractors are often seen as unreliable because of the reputation of unprofessional and inexperienced artisans. Not all contractors can be trusted. At Living Local we believe that most contractors are reliable stand-up tradespeople. Unfortunately, homeowners have had enough negative experiences to cement the “unreliability reputation” over the years.
What Makes A Contractor Reliable?
If you receive good service, it is more likely that you will tell family, friends, and co-workers. A professional reputation directly correlates to the quality of work and the service they provide. Asking past clients about their reputation is the best way to determine how trustworthy they are.
Experience is the key to a good contractor. They have experience in all aspects of their craft. They take on the responsibility of scheduling the work and making sure it is completed on time.
Integrity means that the contractor will not overcharge customers and will do what they promise. They will quickly correct any problems that might arise. They will be responsible for maintaining a clean work environment and adequately dispose of any garbage.
A contractor needs to be a good listener so that he can meet the customer’s needs and, most importantly, their expectations.
In today’s world, it can be difficult to know whom you can trust. Fortunately, there are signs to look for in a contractor that are often huge red flags.
Poor Communication Skills
Most homeowners are not electrical, plumbing, flooring, painting, or roofing experts. That’s where your contractor comes in. A contractor’s job can be complicated and detailed work, they should be able to communicate their process with you, as the homeowner. If they are not able or unwilling to do this, it is a sign that something might go wrong down the line. If there isn’t any clarity, then steer clear and find someone that can explain their process.
Reluctant to Provide a Copy of Their License
One of the most important things to look for in a contractor, aside from their rates and experience level, is that they are licensed. You should never work with an unlicensed service person because it’s much more likely you’ll be dealing with someone who will cut corners on your project or overcharge you midway through; both scenarios mean trouble.
A reputable contractor can provide copies of all licenses. While not every project requires licensing (mowing loans without power equipment) any professional job usually does, so make sure to ask before hiring any contractor.
Difficult to Reach
Reasonable work hours and standards for communication are necessary for a working relationship. If your contractor doesn’t return calls on time or does not arrive at meetings as promised, be aware that this may indicate something about their business practices. You should establish what days and times make sense during the job to avoid any irregularities later on; both of you need to agree beforehand so no one is disappointed with how things turn out.
Reluctant to Sign a Contract
In the end, having a contract can be an essential part of every project. It may seem like another piece of paper to some, but it’s important protection for both parties in case something goes wrong during or after the process. The contractor outlines what work they will do and any expectations from the customer so there is no confusion later. This way everyone knows exactly where they stand.
With a clear understanding between all involved about their obligations before anything has begun, many issues won’t even come up because everything was laid out ahead of time
The Living Local List
Need some reliable and trustworthy contractors. You’ve come to the right place. As long time residents of the Lowcountry, we’ve had many occasions when we’ve needed a reputable contractor. If you are looking for experience, reputation, integrity, and good listening skills, you will find that and more in our Living Local Guide to Contractors.
The contractors on our list are not the result of online reviews but of our actual personal experiences when engaging their services. They are the best of the best and we are proud to include them on our list.
1. Best Electrician
You should never, ever take on electrical work at home if you do not have the necessary training to do so. Even if you avoid shocking yourself while actually performing the work, a job that’s performed poorly could end up being a fire hazard in the future. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to have the number of an electrician in your phone who can come out and handle big jobs or small emergency jobs for you whenever needed. You’ll be able to rest easy knowing the job was completed safely and correctly.
Our Pick: Live Oak Electrical Services
Live Oak Electrical Services
49 Browns Cove Road Unit 2A,
Ridgeland SC 29936
2. Best Carpet and Rug Cleaning
Messes happen, especially if you have children or pets. Don’t rent a steamer from the supermarket. They’re gross and just don’t work. Get help from a pro who has all the right tools. Cleaning your carpets is an important part of maintaining your home, as carpets will get dirty and smelly and full of allergens and bacteria over time. Have a good carpet cleaner in your phone and use their services at least once a year or so as needed.
Our Pick: Carolina Carpet Cleaning
Carolina Carpet Cleaning
5922 Pleasant Farm Drive
Beaufort, SC 29906
3. Best Gutter Installer
Like any home improvement project, deciding to install rain gutters is an investment. However, it can definitely be worth your money as it proves to be necessary on rainy days. Gutters can help you be a proactive homeowner by preventing further issues that would increase costs in the long run. Here are some reasons why investing in rain gutters is a project you shouldn’t pass up:
- Prevention of landscaping or soil erosion
- Protection for your siding
- Preserving Roof Shingles
- Guarding against mold
- Adding beauty to your home exterior
Our Pick: Jimmy’s Gutter Service
Jimmy’s Gutter Service
41 Stoney Point Drive
Bluffton, SC 29910
4. Best Mosquito Control
Roaches, fire ants, aphids, other garden pests, mosquitos, lice, and even bed bugs are common here in the Lowcountry. There’s no reason to live with pests and bugs when getting rid of them can be easy.
Proactive pest control treatments are the best way to keep infestations at bay. Find a great pest control company and keep their number handy.
Our Pick: Greenbug System
747 Robert Smalls Parkway
Beaufort, SC 29906
5. Best Painting Contractor
Painting your home or office by yourself can be a daunting job. It’s a job that requires professional expertise for good finishing and long lasting results. Painting a single room can be considered a DIY project, but if you choose to paint the whole interior or exterior of your property by yourself, you are likely to end up having sketchy and unattractive results.
However, a professional painting company has the right tools, expert painters, and experience to do the job seamlessly. There is always a clear difference between a painting DIY project and a paint job done by professional painters.
Our Pick: Fountain Painting
9 Wood Thrush Ct
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
6. Best Flooring Installation
Would you like to install a new floor in your home or business? Could new flooring bring about a beautiful, new (and much needed) aesthetic? If so, you should higher a professional flooring installer.
People often make the mistake of trying to do flooring installation on their own. A DIY with no experience in flooring can make crucial mistakes such as not measuring properly, buying too much or too little material, uneven or messy installation, improper sub-floor prep, and so on.
Perhaps you aren’t sure what type of flooring to use in your home or business. You may be considering several different options but are weighing the pros and cons of each. It’s best to consult a professional flooring company if that’s the case. With their extensive knowledge they can advise you on the best flooring materials for your project.
Imagine the horror of attempting to install the floor yourself only to be disappointed with the results. You just wasted all that money, time, and effort. If you hire a professional to install your floor, they will be committed to your satisfaction. Throughout the process they will work closely with you to ensure you’re satisfied with the results
Our Pick: May River Flooring
May River FLooring
1308 Fording Island Road, Suite J
Bluffton, SC 29910
7. Best Concrete Floor Coatings
Garage floors take a lot of abuse from all sorts of sources. If you want to protect your garage floor (or any concrete surface) you’ll need a coating that’s resistant to chemicals, UV rays, moisture, high impacts, and frequent foot traffic. You’ll need a floor that can withstand significant temperature swings, too. A great coating company will make your concrete floors more durable, easier to clean, and much more aesthetically pleasing.
One of the great benefits of a concrete coating is that you can extend the life of your concrete floors rather than having to replace them. This is something that can save you a great deal of money by not replacing them and it will increase the overall value of your home for many years to come.
Our Pick: Innovative Concrete Coatings
Innovative Concrete Coatings
3147 Argent Blvd. Suite 4
Ridgeland, SC 2993
Benefits of Hiring Contractors on Our List
It’s Time Efficient
When homeowners are faced with a home repair or project, the first thing they should consider is their time. You may have an electrical issue and a gutter problem at the same time. These problems can significantly impact your day and ultimately slow you down. Homeowners should hire contractors who can guarantee repairs and services and completion on time.
More Money Can Be Saved
You may spend more money if you do your home repairs or projects yourself than if you hire a professional. You will need the right equipment for your project. That could become costly. Professional contractors will cover all the details including having the right tools. DIY homeowners can also make costly mistakes that end up needing to get fixed by professionals. In these cases, homeowners end up sometimes paying double for their project.
They Are Licensed
To prevent damage or accidents you can be sure that the contractors on our list are trustworthy and adhere to strict safety standards. They have all the necessary licenses and insurance so that you can have peace of mind when you hire them.
Trust Can Be Built
Trust is the most crucial aspect of hiring a contractor. If you have worked well with a contractor before and found them reliable, you will feel confident that you can return for more. Every contractor on this list has gained our trust.
Choosing reliable contractors will lessen the risks of errors and disappointment. Satisfaction is assured when working with contractors that have proven that they are trustworthy, perform quality work, and exceed customer expectations.
Use this list in full confidence that these contractors are the best in the Lowcountry as to the services they provide.