If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into a home remodeling project, finding the right contractor is one of the biggest challenges you’ll have to face. If you’ve never done this before, the process part can be intimidating. But worry not. It won’t be rocket science, but you do have to make a few careful considerations to make sure that you end up with the right contractor.
First of all, find someone who will be a joy to work with. Even if you’ve found the “best contractor in town,” he won’t be good enough for you if you don’t even like him. Does he pay attention when you talk about your plans for the project? Does he take your ideas seriously or does he ignore them? The contractor may be the pro, but no matter how you look at it, you’re still the boss.
There’s no doubt in the world that experience matters. Read online reviews and let your prospects provide references. Give these folks a call and ask them to tell you about their experience with the contractor. If they can send over some pictures of the completed job, that should be great.
Solid Work Ethics
Nobody wants a project that drags on unnecessarily. Therefore, choose a contractor who has a reputation for being on time and for ensuring a high daily productivity. Even if you don’t do your research yet, you will be able to get clues. For example, does he show up on time for an appointment? Is he respectful towards you? When he enters your home, does he seem concerned about soiling your carpet? These are small things that can make a big difference in the results of your project.
License and Adequate Insurance Coverage
Accidents happen on the job. When they do, you’d like to be as liability-free as possible, whether someone is injured or there’s property damage. The contractor should have a license and insurance, both liability and worker’s compensation.
A Solid Estimate
A solid bid will include a breakdown of all your costs, from materials to labor to profit margins and other expenses. Of course, you want to know exactly where your cash is going. The contractor should be attentive when you talk about what you want, and you should draw plans together.
Schedule of Payments
Each contractor may have his own unique payment schedule. Typically, this would be 10% upon signing, 75% divided into 3 equal payments at equal intervals, and the final 15% as the project is completed. In any case, the schedule should be clearly indicated in your contract. Be way of contractors who will make you pay 50% or more upfront. If you’re not so sure about your ability to assess a home remodeling contract, ask for help from a friend who may be more experienced and knowledgeable.