The process of hiring a home renovation contractor can be a very intimidating one. You’ve probably heard numerous horror stories out there and are wondering what to do to make sure you don’t end up with a bad lemon. How do you find a contractor that fits your project perfectly? Well, as it turns out, there are tips you can use to your advantage when looking for a home renovation contractor. Here are five of the most important.
1. Credentials and Experience
The number one thing you should do before you embark on your home renovation project is to do your homework. This is essential both for your project and the contractor you intend to hire. When it comes to your project, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want the end result to look like and have a proper budget before you begin. As for the contractor, go for individuals with experience in the specific project you’re doing as well as the right credentials and insurance.
Don’t just go for one contractor right off the bat. Once you’ve found a couple of contractors who seem to have the proper credentials and experience, set up interviews with them. You should ask them questions to gauge their level of confidence in the project and ability to acquire all the necessary permits for the job. Be keen on their answers as they will give you telltale signs of what the contractor is like. Do they sound assured of themselves? Do they seem to value professionalism above all else? Make sure to only short-list contractors you’re comfortable inviting into your home for an interview.
3. A Good Price
Once you’re one with the interviews, you’ll have a fairly good idea what contractors you’re willing to work with going forward. You should now ask them for quotes. They should include all the necessary information in the quote, such as how much the materials will costs, estimated time to completion of the project, and rate per hour. This doesn’t mean you should automatically go for the cheapest option as cheap isn’t always a good thing. You should find out the typical cost of a remodeling like the one you intend to carry out and compare the quotes to that. You should also factor in the work samples offered by the contractors and their level of experience and expertise. Sometimes, what looks like a more expensive contractor can do a good job that lasts longer as well.
4. Formal Contracts
Even if you’ve struck a rapport with the contractor and are fairly confident in his or her ability to do the job, you should have everything in writing. This should be in the form of a legally binding contract that includes things such as the schedule of payments and what protocol to follow when changing the original terms of the contract. Both parties should sign the contract. A professional home renovation contractor will understand that such a contract protects the both of you.
Bonus Tip: Be Flexible With Contingencies
Remodeling isn’t always a straightforward activity. Such things as inclement weather and unforeseen costs can delay the work or force you to make alterations to your budget. You should be flexible enough to leave some space for contingencies in the event of such inconveniences. That said, you shouldn’t tolerate a contractor who keeps coming up with excuses to stretch out the project time unnecessarily or who puts your project on the back burner constantly for ones he or she finds more lucrative.