Sometimes, opting to hire a professional is the right thing to do other than taking on a project yourself, especially when it comes to big jobs that require the aid of a contractor. Since contracting isn’t something that we need every day, it’s good to be aware of what to look for when searching for a quality contractor.
Choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays, sub-par work, and even legal problems. To ensure that you choose the best contractor for the job, we’ve put together eight top-notch tips that highlight what you should look for when hiring a professional.
1. Connect with your contractor: Make sure the contractor you’re looking to hire understands your goals and has experience in the type of job you are looking for. Communication is crucial for all projects, so insist on regular contact by email, phone or text messages.
2. Understand that price reflects quality: Ask your contractor for his or her recommendations on how the project should take place. The lowest bid is not always the best, it may indicate that a contractor uses sub-par materials or is desperate for work. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job.
3. Get it in writing: Your contract should include detailed time frames, the total cost, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, project description, names of parties involved and how to handle additional costs if necessary. Keep track of all important information as well by keeping job-related documents like contracts, payments and receipts in one place.
4. Be upfront about your budget: If necessary, break the project down into multiple phases. Although this may increase the total cost due to repetitious start-up expenses and inflation, it may also be a better option for you to spread out the cost over time.
5. Educate yourself: Know what permits are required and what regulations need to be followed for your remodeling project. Your contractor or architect should be responsible for applying and acquiring all necessary permits. Don’t be passive, however, ask for information. Know what’s going on behind the scenes. The cost of the job will increase if the contractor is surprised by outdated wiring or other concealed budget busters.
6. Be prepared: Select your colors and finishes before the painter arrives to save time. Review sample materials to make sure you are happy with them. Pick someone to be the key contact between the contractor and the family. This will help keep communication clean and clear to avoid confusion.
7. Ensure things are complete before signing off on the job: Be sure to request an affidavit of final release or lien wavier. Once the job is complete and the final payment is made, this clears you of any liability for third-party claims.