4 Don’ts When Hiring a Contractor
1. Do not just choose the lowest quote because it is the lowest price
A low price, though enticing, may not be all it’s cracked up to be. If a quote comes in lower than others, you should know why. Often it is inexperience that produces these initial numbers with unforeseen costs that will need to be incurred to complete the job as it progresses. In the end, the client will pay for this out of pocket and be dissatisfied with the work. Most times it is a case of items are purposely missed or cheaper lower value items are quoted, then when you make your final selections you have to continually upgrade and spend more money.. Now your “cheap” price isn’t cheap any longer.
2. Do not hire a contractor because they are a family member
Remember that a renovation performed by a professional is a business. When the relationship of family is a factor, it can muddy the waters of communication and expectations. It is truly best to hire someone you do not have a personal relationship with already. This way, the relationship does not get in the way of the tough conversations that sometimes have to happen with business.
3. Do not choose the one you like the most because you like the sales person the most
While getting estimates, there will be many ‘sales’ type individuals available to give you information. Remembering that it is a very thin line between discerning a future business relationship versus a future friendship. The one who made you laugh, flirted with you, or charmed you may be a great person however, business should remain business so it is done on budget and on time. The most professional applicant may be the best company as well, but keep your eye on the target: who is best for the task at hand?
4. Do not confuse a “Handyman” with a contractor
By definition of the word, a Handyman is someone who will do smaller repairs that will require moderate knowledge of the task. Contractors typically do not perform the smaller repairs unless they are included in the larger scope of work. Contractors often conduct larger scale builds, manage other trades, and have a team of experienced professionals in their corner. If you expect you will be spending less than $1000 to pay one person to be on the project and have it done in a day or two, it is not really a contractor type job. By describing your job to your contractors for bidding, this will also help you find out if they are interested and if it falls in their capabilities before wasting anyone’s time, including your own.
When hiring a contractor or General Contractor (GC), there are several definite do’s and don’ts. As you begin to collect information about a business, also consider that there are many hats to be worn to see the project through and unless you are willing to put on one of those hats, invest your money with a company or contractor that can also project manage, estimate, and schedule the work so you do not have to get involved. A renovation should be stress free and a good renovator will make the experience just that.
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