So, you’ve decided to do some renovations in your home. Visualizing the changes you want to make to turn your home into your dream home is the easy part. Now comes the hard part – choosing the right contractor. We’ve all heard horror stories about nightmare contractors, so how do you avoid finding yourself in this sticky situation? Follow these tips below to make sure you do your due diligence in your search.
Do Your Research
First and foremost, you will want to look into the companies you are considering hiring for your home project(s). What is their background? How many years of experience do they have? How do they operate and what is their process? Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions so that you can get familiar with the company and how they work. It’s also important to build a connection with the company and that they have good interpersonal skills. After all, you are inviting these people into your home, so you want to be sure you are hiring a qualified, experienced professional who you feel comfortable with.
Ask About the Details
Make sure you ask questions about what you can expect during the renovation process. Who will be responsible for cleaning the site? How will you be communicating with the contractor during the renovation? Will they be hiring subcontractors? Do they provide a warranty and/or support after the work is completed if something goes wrong? Knowing these details ahead of time will help to manage your expectations and minimize any surprises with regard to how the company operates.
Ask for Estimates
For any company that you are considering hiring, ask for a quote regarding the estimated costs. It’s typically a good idea to get multiple estimates as this way you can compare between companies. Keep in mind that if a price sounds too good to be true, it often is, so be weary of a cost estimate that is much lower than others. Inquire about the company’s payment schedule so you know what to expect. You should never be expected to pay the entire balance upfront. Make sure you have proof of payments you make to the company. You will also want to ask for an estimate of a realistic timeframe for the work you’d like completed. Figure out what the implications are if they go over this estimated timeframe when completing the work.
Look at Past Work
Look for examples of work the company has completed in the past. Are you happy with their past outcomes? Have they completed previous projects that are similar to what you would like for your home? Check reviews online about the company and don’t be afraid to ask the company for references or a list of previous clients who can be contacted. You can also check whether they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
Inquire About Insurance and Licensing
Importantly, you will want to make sure the company is fully insured and properly licensed. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are liable if there is an accident. Make sure the company is insured to cover any potential accidents, and that they have workers’ compensation insurance. Request a copy of their insurance certificate and ensure that it is valid.
Get Everything in Writing
You should be provided with a detailed contract upon deciding to go ahead with a particular company. The contract protects both of you and will lay out the details to which you have both agreed. Carefully review the contract before signing and make sure to clarify if anything is unclear.
The renovation process can seem daunting, but at the end of the day, if you do your research, ask lots of questions, ensure that all parties have clear expectations, and obtain the agreement in writing, you can feel comfortable that you did your due diligence. Happy renovating!