Generally, a home project like a renovation requires experts. If you’re planning a remodeling project, you need to trust who will be coming into your home and working. While there are plenty of great professional contractors out there, there are also others who are less desirable that miss deadlines, are deceitful, and sometimes don’t even finish projects. Don’t just pick the first person you come across on a list. Follow these 8 hiring tips for your new home project to assist you in selecting the right contractor for the job.
Tips for Hiring for Your Home Project
1. Do Your Research
To start, you should do as much research as possible. You can begin with a Google search. Many construction companies have websites that will help you answer commonly asked questions. They should also have reviews and testimonials so you can read how they handled other home projects.
During the research phase, you may be asked to share photos or videos of your project area so you can get a quote. You may have an initial sales call via videoconference, which will allow the contractors to see the space and learn more about the project.
In many cases, a contractor will come to your home to check out the details of the project. From there, you’ll be given a ballpark estimate.
2. Ask for Recommendations
You’ll need to know if you can trust everyone with your home and your belongings– from the company that helps you move your stuff to the contractor who runs the project. If someone you know has recently completed a home project, you can ask them what contractor they used and about their experience. If you’ve found a qualified contractor online, you can ask them to send you a list of past clients you can contact for more information.
3. Ask the Right Questions
You can and should ask questions during any stage of the decision making process. Once you have a list of prospective contractors, make a quick call to each of them with the following questions:
- Have they completed projects like yours?
- Can they provide you with references?
- Can they give you a list of past clients?
- How many other projects will they be working on at the same time?
- How well do they know their subcontractors?
By asking these questions, you’ll get a better understanding of their availability and reliability. Not only that, but you can determine how much attention they will give your project. After all, the more attention they can give your home project, the more you’ll trust them to finish near the deadline.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of contractors, contact former clients on the list that was provided so you can ask how the projects went. Consider asking for photos of the finished project. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely on results alone. If possible, see if you can visit a current job site and see how the contractor works. Seeing the site will give you an idea about whether the worksite is safe and neat. You can also determine whether or not the workers respect the property they’re working on. If you see trash all over the home, odds are they’ll litter over yours as well.
Part of your investigation should additionally include a background check, which can ensure your contractor is both licensed and trustworthy.
5. Get Bids
Hopefully, by this step, your list of contractors has gotten small enough for you to take the time to get bids. A contractor will need to know what you are trying to achieve along with a budget. Request that the bids be itemized. That way once you have all the bids you can compare them side by side for an accurate comparison broken down into:
- Cost of materials
- Additional expenses
6. Set a Schedule for Payment
When hiring a contractor, you should always set a payment schedule before the project starts. This schedule will help you understand the contractor’s financial status along with getting a feel for their work ethic. For example, if a contractor wants to be paid half upfront, then they likely have financial issues, or may not be planning to finish the project well.
For big projects, your schedule should start with a fee at contract signing and then subsequent payments spaced throughout the project. The final amount will be paid upon completion. This helps the funding of the project along the way and making sure the work is done as expected.
7. Don’t Choose Based on Price Alone
The lowest bid will be tempting, but it can also be dangerous. You know the old saying, “If it is too good to be true, then it probably is”. A bid that’s much lower than the others potentially means a contractor is cutting corners or is desperate. You should never let the price of the bid be your guide for choosing the best contractor.
Stick to your budget, but choose based on their reputation and experience that was found during your research. It’s always better to spend a little more money than anticipated upfront on a contractor you’re comfortable with, than going the cheap route and having to spend even more funds on the backend for an additional person to come in and make things right.
8. Have a Contract
Whether you’re hiring someone to design and install a pool, remodel your kitchen, or minimize water damage you’ll need a signed agreement. A contract should include:
- Project milestones
- Payment schedules
- Proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation
- Start and projected end date
- Materials and products to be used
- A requirement the contractor obtain lien releases
These aspects of the contract will ensure the work is done properly and on time.
Make Hiring a Contractor is Easy
Hiring a contractor will be time-consuming but worth the time and money if you do it right. There’s no reason to cut corners when hiring someone who will be working on an expensive project in your home. Before you make the final decision on a contractor, make sure they are someone who you can trust to make important decisions, including subcontractors, and using the best employees so your project gets completed the right way the first time. Therefore, you must take your time during this process so you can find the best fit for you, your project, and your home. Whether you are looking to remodel your kitchen or renovate your homes exterior with curb appeal, hiring the right team will make or break your experience.
Guest article is written by Matt Casadona, he has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is an editor at 365 Business Tips and is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.