If you’re finally all set for that long-shelved home remodeling project, choosing the right contractor will be the biggest decision you’ll make. If you’ve never done this before, the process part can be intimidating. But don’t worry. 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. No matter what others say, a contractor can never be good enough for you if you hardly get along. Does he listen when you explain your vision 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. Take time to read reviews and ask your prospects to provide client references. Give these folks a call and ask them to tell you about their experience with the contractor. If they can forward some pictures of the finished job, that would be even better.
Good Work Ethics
You don’t want your project to continue for far longer than necessary. Hence, pick a contractor who is popular for high day-to-day productivity. Even without research, you can get some very good clues. For instance, is he on time for your appointments? Is he respectful towards you? When he enters your home, does he seem concerned about soiling your carpet? These things may seem small or minor, but they give you a glimpse of how your project will likely turn out.
License and Adequate Insurance Coverage
Accidents can happen. 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 is one that includes a breakdown of all your material and labor costs, profit margins and other expenses. Of course, you want to make sure that you know where your money is going. The contractor should be fully attentive as you tell you what you want, and you should draw the plans together as a team.
Schedule of Payments
The payment schedule can vary from one contractor to another. Usually, you have to pay 10% upon signing, followed by three 25% payments (equal intervals), and finally, 15% as the project is completed. In any case, make sure the schedule is clear in the contract. Avoid anyone who asks for a minimum of 50% upfront. If you’re not very sure, don’t hesitate to ask for someone’s help, perhaps a friend or relative who has more experience or knowledge with home remodeling contracts.