If you plan on remodeling your home, or maybe doing some home improvement projects, hiring a professional, such as a good home contractor is essential. Keep in mind that these projects or tasks are investments, and who you hire can make all the difference in how well the job will turn out, including what your experience will be throughout the construction.
However, when it comes to hiring a contractor, there are also important things you need to take into consideration. Since your home is where you spend most of your time, you surely do not want poor quality construction details staring at you each day.Therefore, if you want your home remodeling or improvement projects to be successful, do your due diligence before hiring a contractor. You need to ensure that you take the proper steps before choosing a contractor to work on your home projects. To help you, we are giving you some of the best tips for hiring a home contractor.
Create a detailed plan.
The most important thing you need to accomplish before approaching or contacting a contractor is to make a detailed plan. You can do this by working with a professional designer or architect who can help you develop a complete plan to show your contractor and let him know exactly what you want for your space. When you find a contractor without having a detailed plan, it will just enable your contractor to change his pricing as he goes because the specifics were never discussed from the beginning.
You also need to remember that permit drawings are not complete plans. They only contain limited information about the final design of your space. The only things they can prove are the general layout and structurebut have limited or no information about finishes, interior architecture, lighting, etc., which are the important information that contractors need to give you accurate pricing before starting the construction.
List all of the specifications ahead of time.
It is also important that you list all the specifications you want before hiring a contractor. It’s because the price to renovate can vary depending on the fittings and finishes you want. Therefore, if you can choose your finishes, accessories, plumbing fixtures, and other specifications ahead of time, do so.Doing this will help you and your contractor save a lot of grief during the construction process by having all the items needed and by knowing all the associated costs to install your specified items.
Price out your project and seek out recommendations.
If you’ve been working with an architect or a designer and you already have a complete set of drawings and specifications, then you can also ask them to recommend builders where you can send your plans for pricing. You can also ask some of your friends if they know a contractor that they’ve been happy with. If they do, send them your construction package to bid on.
The great thing about having a detailed set of plans and specifications is that it will give you similar pricing from the contractors bidding on the job. Aside from that, they also will have to stick to their provided pricing because all the information they need is given.
Make sure that the contractor you are hiring is insured.
Accidents can possibly happen, especially on construction sites, and a contractor needs to manage a significant crew to accomplish your project, which is not easy. Therefore, you can expect occasional mishaps. That’s why you need to ensure that your contractor is set up to deal with them properly.
Review the previous work of your contractor.
Once you’ve chosen a contractor for your home, it’s also important to ask and see some of his previous jobs. Even if he or she is referred to you by a friend or your architect, looking at his work is essential. If the owner of the house of his previous project is happy and you like what you see, then chances are you’ll also be happy with his work in your home.
Interview the contractor you’ve chosen.
It is also important to get to know your general contractor because you’ll be working over the period of your project. Ensure that you pick someone you can trust and communicate with. During your first meetings, you can ask him about dealing with unexpected issues and differences and how these things can be handled. This way, you will know how he works and deals with certain issues.
Aside from that, you can also ask your contractor about timelines. You can get his opinion on how long he thinks the project will take to complete. Upon knowing the timeline, you can also add additional weeks to help manage your expectations.
Set a payment schedule
Another essential thing when it comes to hiring a home contractor is to workout a payment schedule ahead of time. These schedules can speak to a contractor’s financial status and work ethic. If they ask for half the bid upfront, they might have financial problems or worried that you won’t pay the rest after seeing the outcome.
If the contractor would be working on a large project, a payment schedule can start with 10% at contract signing, and then three payments of 25% evenly spaced over the duration of the project. Then, a check for the final 15% when you feel that every item on your plan has been accomplished.
Never let the price be your guide when choosing a home contractor.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, home remodeling and home improvement projects are investments. When a contractor has a low bid, then he’s probably cutting corners, or worse, desperate for work. Therefore, when hiring a home contractor, choose someone that you can communicate with well. Remember that it’s better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable working with, and who can clearly understand everything you want for the project.
These are some of the best tips we can give for hiring a home contractor. The process may seem daunting, but the time you spend searching and all the details you put into your plan and contact will be reflected in the final product. Therefore, give yourself time to do your research and ask all the necessary questions. We hope these tips will help you in finding the best home contractor.