Planning your next home project? As you begin to map out your ideas, budget, and timeline, another important thing you should carefully consider is the contractor you will hire to make your dream a reality. There are many contractors who claim to be the best in the business, so finding the right one for your project can be quite the task. By following some key tips on how to hire a contractor, you can minimize the chances of hiring the wrong person.
Find Good Contractors
Reputation is everything. You’ll want to make sure that a potential contractor has good reviews and preferably comes recommended. This is not the time to take a chance on somebody. Renovations are expensive projects and hiring a contractor who is inexperienced or unreliable can be a costly mistake. Ask people who you know have had some renovation work done and see who they recommend. When a name comes up, check online to see if they have a professional website.
Phone Interviews and In Person Meetings
You can get a good sense of somebody by speaking with them directly. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions that are important to you. One of the questions that you should ask is whether they have a list of references you may call. This may be anybody who has worked with them – suppliers, subcontractors, or clients.
Other questions to ask are:
- Do they specialize in the particular home project you have in mind?
- How many other projects will they be working on alongside yours?
- Who do they work with i.e. subcontractors?
- How long would they need to complete your project and when would they be available to start?
Asking these types of questions can help you weed out contractors who may not be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that condo renovations have specific guidelines that must be adhered to. So if you are remodeling a condo, hire a contractor with experience in condo renovations.
Payments and Contracts
Ask what the contractor’s expectation is when it comes to how the project will be paid. How much deposit do they need, and when do they need it? It’s important to have a clear idea of when payments are due so that you are well aware of what your payment schedule will look like. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with the payment schedule before signing the contract. Typically, large renovation projects require 10 percent of the total cost when the contract is signed, then a series of payments roughly 25 percent of the cost evenly spaced throughout the duration of the construction.
Be sure that the terms of the agreement are clearly listed in a contract so that each party knows what the expectation is regarding the project. This eliminates many problems and can protect you should anything go wrong.
During and After Project
When the project commences, it’s in your best interest to make note of different aspects of the project as they unfold to make sure that everything is in line with what your contract states. Take photos of the work in case you need them later as proof. Take notes of any verbal discussions you have with the contractor if something comes up that is not laid out in the contract. Also, be sure to keep records of your payments.
Before making the final payment, create a checklist that includes details of the work completed in accordance with the signed contract. Make sure you receive copies of the warranties and ask for proof to show that all subcontractors have been paid for the work they completed. When the work is complete, make sure that the construction site has been cleaned and remember to inspect the work before making the final payment.
The goal is to get through your projects without encountering significant issues, but if there are some unresolved matters that need to be ironed out, do your best to resolve them with your contractor through intentional conversation. If you’re unable to resolve the matter, there are some agencies that can help like your local consumer protection office, your home builder’s association, or the Better Business Bureau.
The house contractor you hire for your renovation project can make all the difference. Take a little extra time to choose the right fit for your project and you’ll be glad you did. At Moose Condo Reno we’re experts at home renovations Contact us – we are happy to help you with contractors you can trust.