Sometimes it makes more sense to leave a project to a professional than to attempt it yourself. However, selecting the incorrect contractor may result in delays, poor quality work, and then even legal issues. These recommendations will assist you in selecting a qualified contractor and guarantee a positive working relationship.
The first thing you want to do is to shop around, just like you would for an automobile. Compare at least 3 quotes and ensure that you have personally gotten to know the contractor and have provided them with the scope of work to be done. The best method to make sure you get a precise cost estimate is to walk through the project with the contractor and describe it in detail.
It's a good idea to give the contractor a detailed list of all the home improvements you want to make. This will guarantee that you get the best possible bid. Compare the offers and estimates after receiving bids. Ask questions, if an offer is too high or underprice, probe and understand what you are looking at. Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed to work in your area. According to Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, co-owner of Associates in Building & Design Ltd. in Fort Collins, Colorado, and chairman of the NAHB Remodelers Council, "having a license and insurance shows a contractor's expertise and reliability."
Contractors who possess a license have demonstrated their knowledge of building regulations and procedures by passing a test. In having a license, it reduces homeowners' chance of being taken advantage of. Obtain a license number to be certain and ask for other qualifying credentials, if needed. You can be held responsible if a worker is hurt while working on your project and the contractor is uninsured. The same holds true for mishaps that result in damage to your next-door neighbor's house. If the scaffolding being used collapses and caused damage to the property next door, you want the contractor's insurance to pay for those expenses.
Have a detailed contract in place that should specifies all costs, brands of the products being fitted, a rough start/finish date, and the full set of drawings that will be used-- there can never be too much information. The contract may instead include allowances, such as up to $500 for a front door, if a specific brand for a part has not yet been decided. Be sure to always receive several quotes to compare pricing and ensure that everything is spelled out in the contract--down to the color scheme and fixtures being used for your project.
Consider the contractor's communication style when conducting an interview. To put it another way, pay close attention to how people speak to you. Do you communicate with the contractor mostly by phone, text, or email?
Do they react to questions promptly or do they take their time? Don't choose a contractor who takes a while to respond to your calls and texts if you need a person who can respond quickly. Make sure the contractor is reachable if you prefer to speak in person. Be conscious of a contractor's unique communication style in contrast to the manner in which they interact with clients. Discover their team and ask for references. Make sure to find out who your contractor uses for specific projects when you do an interview with them.
For instance, if you're remodeling your entire house, you'll probably have to work with a
variety of service experts, such as electricians, plumbers, HVAC specialists, flooring specialists, and more. The same proper research that you would perform on your contractor, you should also perform on your sub-contractors. Make sure to inquire about the contractor's management philosophy as well.
Do they, for instance, physically supervise each stage of the renovation in person?
How much time does management of the subcontractors take?
Do they run background checks on each and every subcontractor?
Go with your instinct! A contractor may spend days, weeks, or maybe even months in your house or location--putting them in the cross path with your friends and possibly family. You want to choose the right highly qualified person for the job every time!