If you’ve ever done any kind of home renovations, you know firsthand the importance of hiring a good contractor. Although the process can be nerve-wracking, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you get the best person for the job. So take these simple steps and rest easy that your contractor is on the level.
Talk to Several Contractors
You should interview several contractors before selecting the one for you. Make it a point to talk to at least three contractors. You’ll get a good idea of what they have to offer and be able to negotiate on the price as well. A greater range of bids means that you have a lot more leverage regarding the overall cost and timeline of a project.
Also, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family for referrals, primarily if they’ve worked with contractors on similar projects in the past. Find out how careful the contractor is. How well do they protect the existing house structure? How clean is their process? Do they lay down construction mats or do they just tear up the grass with their trucks?
Agree Upon a Schedule
Don’t make any assumptions when it comes to contracting work. Agree upon a schedule in advance. Make sure that it’s both reasonable and doable, and build in a bit of buffer zone just in case something comes up. When drawing up your schedule, you should clarify exactly what the contractor is expected to do.
After all, the contractor’s idea of the workload and yours could be different. That’s why it’s vital to be crystal clear right from the beginning. If it’s a big job, you should set up specific milestones that should be achieved by certain dates. This helps to keep everyone on track and manages expectations for both you and your contractor.
Ask the Right Questions
Knowing what questions to ask and asking them before any work starts is a great way to avoid headaches. Talk to your contractor about what happens if they damage your home and what steps, such as laying out construction mats, they plan to take to prevent any damage. This might include superficial elements of your home, structural pieces, or even your yard, depending on the job. Have a plan for if something goes wrong.
Also, talk about any materials you want to preserve. For example, if your contractor is renovating your kitchen, let them know that you want to keep those marble countertops. If the contractor is remodeling a specific vital room in the house, like the bathroom or kitchen, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan for what to do while they’re working.
Get It All in Writing
Even if you feel like you’re going to have a fantastic relationship with your contractor, you still need to get everything in writing. You also need to change the contract if the scope of work changes. This protects both you and your contractor.
Make sure that it’s a legal, binding contract. You both need to sign it. It should include the cost of the project, agreed-upon milestones, and any other factors such as work schedules and how property damage is dealt with.
Following these steps should make the hiring process more thorough. Hopefully it will ensure that your contractor completes the project in the minimum time with the minimum mess.