After being a contractor most of my life and stepping in a few times to bail a home owner out that was screwed over by bad renovation work. I am writing this post to help keep your renovation from going bad!
When you have decided to do a renovation and you are ready to hire a contractor, you need to follow some simple guide lines, so the job goes smoothly and you don’t waste a ton of money.
Finding a good contractor can be challenging. Getting recommendations from family members and neighbors is always helpful, but you should still get multiple quotes.
Furthermore, don’t always go with the lowest estimate. If someone is way under all the other estimates, that may mean they are desperate for money or won’t do quality work.
Get references. Read their reviews. Ask to see photos of their work.
Although you should ask your friends and family for recommendations, it’s always a good idea to check the contractors out online as well. I know that Home Advisor is one site you can use to find trusted contractors in your area, as well as read multiple reviews on them.
If the contractor is busy or booked up for a month, that probably means they are pretty good.
It might be worth your time to wait on them.
Determine a payment schedule.
Unless a contractor comes highly recommended and has multiple great reviews, I would be hesitant to pay any money upfront. Come up with a clear payment schedule you are comfortable with.
Get everything in writing.
Having an agreement written out and signed is a good idea. Make sure it includes the payment schedule, the details of the project, estimated start and finish dates, proof of their insurance, and any materials you are responsible for purchasing for the job.
Check up on them during the work.
If you’re living in the house where work is being completed, this doesn’t really apply to you, but if you’re not, it does. Stop by the workplace at least two to four times a week. You don’t want to be in their way, but you do want them to know you’re around and keeping an eye on the work they are doing.
Thanks to Jenna Lefevor for contributing to this article.
In most states it is require for a contractor to be licensed and insured, this is for your safety if things go wrong. Be sure to check this when you start the hiring process, even if not required, they should have insurance for your protection.