Whether you’re adding a new room, renovating your basement, adding new fixtures to your bathroom, or doing an extensive makeover; renovating your home can be an overwhelming process. Utilizing the services of a house remodeling contractor has proven to be beneficial because they not only take away the stress but have the expertise to cater to your remodeling needs professionally. They can manage all the permits needed to renovate your house and are well-versed with all the building codes. Hiring a contractor is worth the money because they take up the whole responsibility for your remodeling job from the planning phase to the completion phase. However, there are things that homeowners need to consider before hiring the right remodeling contractor so that your remodeling requirements are concluded according to your expectations.
Identify Your Requirements Before Hiring a Contractor
As the customer, you are the one steering the ship. Before having a consultation, do your homework on what you want and what are you trying to achieve with the project. Spend time thinking about what kind of fixtures, colors would be used to bring your vision to life. If you find it overwhelming to spend time thinking about these tiny details, then hire a designer that can help you with translating your vision into specific features.
Get Quotes from Multiple Contractors
After asking friends and family, search on Google, and check for contractors on several directories; make sure that you have shortlisted at least three contractors. After contacting those contractors, you should have at least three estimates so that you can easily make the final call. If you can get more than three estimates, that will definitely give you a clearer picture. You will be able to decide on the right contractor for the job easily. In most cases, homeowners get overwhelmed and choose the contractor who offers a lower rate at the price of poor work quality.
Always Carry Out Background Checks
Even if you hire a contractor on the recommendation of your friend or a relative, always make sure that you do some background checks on them. It is absolutely necessary to check, whether they have a current license or have insurance coverage. Try to get their license and policy numbers, then verify them to check whether they are current or not. Also, make sure they do not have any serious formal complaints or legal actions taken against them in the past.
Put on Your Detective Hat and Check Out Their Work History
Contractors might take up the job even if they are not equipped to handle it. Make sure they have done a project in the past that is similar to your needs. Before hiring them, take out some time to see the quality of their work and what materials they are using. Look for the smaller signs in their conduct, do they answer your queries in detail, are they being on time, and how well-kept are the company’s vehicles. These signs indicate whether they are responsible and attentive to detail.
Set Rules For The Job Site
The contractor would be entering your personal space to carry out the remodeling job. Once you have done the background checks on the team members who will be working in your house, let them know about the things that may concern you during the project. Share such details with them: what is your routine, which areas are cordoned off for them, which bathroom they can use, whether you’re comfortable with them smoking in the house, etc.?
Know About The Allocation of Budget
Many contractors offer free estimates and quote very low prices, but when you’re given the final bill, the price is nowhere near the quote they gave you initially. So, the first thing after having a detailed discussion of your requirements, you need to ask about the scope of work proposal from your contractor. The proposal will contain the specifics of the task and a breakdown of the budget of the job into costs for labor, materials, overheads, and fee. The proposed fee is mostly paid upfront and then later on it is added to the total project cost if the client agrees to hire the contractor. Consider it a red flag, if the contractor asks you to pay in cash or pay for the entire project upfront.
Have a Preemptive Plan for Resolving Differences
There is a possibility that once you hire a contractor, differences in opinions and perspectives can occur. Professional contractors have clear written contracts in order to protect both parties from unforeseen circumstances. During your initial meetings, don’t hesitate to ask if in the future you’d like to change orders and then how that would be handled. Also, ask about if some serious damage is done during the remodeling, and how that will be countered.
Read the Contract Thoroughly
A typical remodeling project contract includes start and delivery dates, details of permits and fees (mostly handled by your contractor, but are your legal responsibility), a description of all the products, services and materials to be provided by the contractor, payment method, payment terms, subcontractor details (license number, insurance verification, and warranty) and consequences to the breach of contract. Consequences to the Breach of contract can include if a contractor fails to pay the subcontractors, then the contractor should exclude you from the liability to pay them.