When hiring a contractor for a big project, it’s easy to make a costly misstep. It could be something minor, such as overpaying because you didn’t get other bids, or a communication error where the finished job doesn’t look like you envisioned it. Then there are bigger calamities, such as a contractor leaving the job half finished, or not building the project to code, leaving you to start over from scratch.
Sure, contractor catastrophes can happen, but they also can be avoided.
Before You Hire
A successful contractor relationship begins before you hire one. Start your search for a qualified contractor by asking your friends and neighbors for first-hand recommendations. Referrals are a great way to find someone who does good work but isn’t advertising. Before you start taking bids, find out what similar projects cost. A little research can save you a lot in the long run, and keep you from getting bullied by a high bid and a silver tongue. Also, make sure you are upfront about your agreed-upon budget with the contractors so that there is no misunderstanding later.
Before The Bidding Starts
Before accepting any bids, gather some basic information. You can easily run a background check to see if the contractor has had legal action against them in past jobs. Also, before work begins, clarify how payments will be handled and how to communicate with one another. Being able to communicate with whomever you hire is vital. If they’re difficult to reach, don’t hire them. Also, find out whether they are hiring subcontractors or local help. You need to be aware the people who will be working in and around your home. Communicate with the contractor about his/her expectations, what do they need from you in terms of submitting for permits or buying material. With an open line of communication, expectations are clear and the process can flow well. Last, make sure you have a schedule set up for the project, as well as that the contractor is accountable to that schedule, so if they go over, you aren’t paying extra fees or that they’re leaving the project unfinished.
Get It In Writing
Once you’ve taken care of all of the details, put everything put into a formal contract and have it signed. Leaving it up to a verbal agreement and handshake can leave you vulnerable without the contractor having any accountability. With these tools you’ll be more at ease and you’re home looking the way you want it.