When it comes to home renovations and projects, the hard part isn’t really the work itself; it’s finding a reliable home contractor with good experience to do what you need them to do at fair prices.
If you’re planning to renovate a part of your home or you’re starting a home project, you don’t want to end up with one of those horror stories of home contractors tearing homes apart without finishing the job or those hugely going over the estimated budget.
Even if you have a reliable contractor, the whole process of maintaining your home can be really stressful, as you can encounter unexpected problems and roadblocks. But, with a good home contractor, you’re guaranteed that someone will help you go through all these problems.
If you want to keep your peace of mind and keep things within your budget, here are some tips on finding a reliable home contractor.
Know what you want
Before trying to find a home contractor, make sure to decide on your project first. Check the part of your home you want to work at, start with some plans, think of ideas, and decide on the materials. By painting a picture of what you want in your mind, you will know what to tell the contractor.
Ask for references
Unless you live in a cabin, you probably have family, friends, and neighbours near you, and they may have done similar projects. Ask around if they know a good home contractor, how they did the project, and if you can, take a look at the results.
Understand that contractors aren’t always available
A builder’s availability highly depends on the time of the year and the number of projects they are handling at the time. If you think you found a good builder and they aren’t always available, that’s probably a good thing, as it means people like their service. When looking for a contractor, make sure to be patient and understand that sometimes, they can’t start your project immediately.
Explore your options
When looking for a home contractor, make sure to talk to many contractors to explore your options. If you can, try to interview at least five contractors. Ask all the questions you have and get estimates. By having the right conversation and having many choices, you can find a contractor that understands what you want and will fit your budget.
Ask about subcontractors
Home contractors will work on the project, but sometimes, they will require the work of subcontractors too. It’s important to know about this so you can be prepared to have outside workers in your home. It will also help you understand how the contractor will work with them.
Check their licenses
Contractors and subcontractors need licenses to provide their service. So, before signing anything, make sure that your contractor is legitimate by checking if they have the necessary license. Of course, the licenses and procedures may vary between different states, but verifying them is very important.
Talk to previous clients
If you want to know how good the contractor is, try to find people with experience getting a service from the contractor and ask them about it. Ask about the relationship with the contractor, the quality of work, how long it took, and if they met the budget.
Check online reviews
Other than talking to clients, you can also find online reviews. Whether it’s Google or HomeAdvisor, you can find a lot of insight from other people, which you can use to decide if you’re going to hire a contractor or not.
Sign a detailed contract
To ensure that the contractor knows what you want regarding deadlines, budget, payment and materials, you need to sign a detailed contract. It’s because a detailed contract can protect your rights as a client in case the contractor fails to fulfil what you want. If the contractor gives you a contract that isn’t to your liking, you can talk to them to change it in a way that’s fair to both parties.
Get all the required permits
You can’t just start work without getting a permit from local authorities, as almost all types of projects require permits. Some contractors may discourage you from getting them to save money, but you’ll be risking violating local laws and ordinances without them, which can lead to fines. It may also lead to trouble if you decide to sell your house later on.
Don’t pay more than a 10% down payment
Most contractors will require a down payment before they start working on your project. When asked for this, pay only up to a 10% down payment to ensure your contractor won’t use up all your money before they finish the job. The contract should have a detailed payment schedule to ensure you know where your money goes.
Prepare a budget for unexpected costs
Even if you detail everything in the budget, there will always be unexpected costs that come along the way. So, make sure to have a budget saved for these unexpected expenses.
Choose the right contractor for your project
While almost every home contractor will say yes to most projects, it’s always better to hire a contractor particularly good at the kind of project you’re planning. If looking for a double-storey home project, it’s always best to look for Perth’s leading double storey homes builder. By doing this, you will ensure that the people working on your project are experts at what they do.