THINGS TO KNOW WHEN HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Hiring a remodeling contractor could be frightening. Inviting someone into your home needs trust. Asking someone to work on your home requires you to have comprehensive knowledge of the person and their staff. Find out how to choose the right contractor for your remodeling project and set terms that keep both of you happy.
1- Know what you want Before meeting with a contractor, think about your goals for the remodeling project. You need to ask yourself what type of project needs to be done.
2- Do some research Once you answered the questions about your remodeling project, it is time to do some research. Ask your family, friends or someone you know & trust if they have any personal recommendations for contractors that they have experienced. If you can not obtain any personal recommendations, searching for local contractors on the internet is an easy way to start.
3- Phone interviews You already have a list of contractors for your remodeling project. Now you can make some phone calls. During the conversation, you should be aware of a few details: - Do they speak professionally on the phone? - Do they speakto you with respect? - Do they answer your questions directly and do they seem interested to work with you?
The way they speak to you is really important, and it should impact your decision. Also, there are a few important questions you should ask them:
- Are they licensed contractors? - Do they have insurance? - Have they completed jobs similar to yours before? - Do they have a list of clients you can contact? - When will they be able to start your project?
4- Meet face to face Based on the phone conversations, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and discuss your remodeling projects. During the meeting you will want to evaluate their interaction with you. It very important that you and your contractor communicate well. Because this person will be in your home if you decide to work with him/her. Here a few important questions to ask your contractors during the meeting:
- How long has their company been in business? - Are they licensed to work in your area? - Are they insured? - Will your project require permits? - Can they provide you with a quote and any reasoning for price? - What do their payment schedule typically look like? - How many projects like yours have they completed in the past years?
5- Obtain bids from several contractors You should get at least three bids from different contractors for your remodeling project. You will get more perspective on appropriate costs and you will get an idea of the caliber of work that each contractor will provide. Do not forget that the price should not be your number one priority when it comes to deciding which contractor to hire.
6- Payment schedule Every contractor would have different expectations for a down payment. A good idea for your payment schedule is to make them contingent upon time & completion according to the terms of your contract.
7- Read the contract before you sign it A contract should include start and completion dates, information on applicable building permits and fees (typically handled by the contractor, but legally your responsibility), a description of what products and services are to be provided by the contractor, payment terms, subcontractor details (such as license and insurance verification and warranty of workmanship), and the consequences of default by either party. Default can include a contractor's failure to pay subcontractors - the contract should exclude you from liability if this occurs.
8- During and after your project When you started working with a contractor, let the company know you expect routine precautions, such as employee background checks for anyone who will have access to your home. Before you give your contractor your final payment and sign on the dotted line for completion according to contract, your checklist will ensure that all of the details were taken into account. Here some items to put on your checklist: - Every aspect of the work has been completed according to your contract’s standards. - You have physical copies of all warranties. - You have inspected and approved the work. - The job site has been completely cleaned.