If you are looking to remodel your home or build a new home from scratch, you have a lot of exciting things in your future. One difficult aspect of starting the construction project is finding a professional, reliable, and licensed contractor. Here are three things to consider before working with a contractor.
1. Get the Right Contractor for the Right Project
Embarking on a construction project can be difficult. Choosing the right contractor makes the difference between a project being successful and a project failing.
The right contractor is one who will complete the project in a timely manner. They will use quality products and do quality work from start to finish.
Getting recommendations from friends and family is a good place to start. However, just because someone did a good job on your friend’s project is no guarantee that there is the right contractor for your project.
You want a contractor who does the type of project you want to be done. They should be accustomed to working on projects that are the same scale as your project.
Do your due diligence. Check the contractor’s license. Make sure they have insurance and sufficient insurance to cover any eventuality. Doing your due diligence means learning about any complaints against the contractor.
Visit the website of your state licensing board before you hire a contractor. The state licensing board can confirm that their license is in good standing. Your contractor should be able to give you a copy of their license and the licenses of any subcontractors they work with.
Don’t be fooled by the price. It is better to spend a little more for a good contractor than it is to need to pay to have the job redone.
Look for references and online reviews. Interview clients who have had similar types of projects done in their homes. This will assure you that the contractor does quality work. Examine references and reviews before the job. This is the only way to make sure that you have the right contractor for your specific job.
2. Clearly Layout the Details of the Project
From the beginning, you need to discuss the timeline for completion, the payment schedule, and who will do the job. You are the client, so you have a lot of control over when the project is completed and who does the work.
For example, you could clearly tell the contractor, “I want to sell my home before the end of summer.” You let them know that you are working with a real estate agent who promises to sell your house fast, so you want the project done within a reasonable time.
When you ask the contractor when they will start and when they will complete the project, they should be upfront with you about any circumstances that could affect their schedule. You may have to push a little and ask them if they have any other projects that they are working on now that could affect their schedule. Do they have any bids that haven’t been finalized?
With the payment, the Better Business Bureau advises you to never pay full price upfront. A reputable contractor will never ask you to. However, payment terms should be clearly laid out before the work begins.
3. Get a Feel for the Contractor’s Work Routine
This means finding out how the contractor will clean up at the end of the day. If the project spans weeks, find out how and where tools and materials will be stored. If there are large pieces of equipment that are going to be stored in your home, discuss where they will be kept and how they will be transported. The last thing you want is heavy items dragged across your wood floor.
Finally, ask about the steps they will take to protect your property. A good contractor will take reasonable steps to protect it. They should leave a clean workspace once their team has left for the day.
Starting a new construction project or having a home remodeled is an exciting experience. Your contractor will play a vital role in making sure the project turns out well. Take the time to do your due diligence and find a contractor who is honest, trustworthy, and right for your project.