5 Do’s When Hiring a Contractor
1. Meet with more than one contractor
This goes without saying that if you are getting a renovation done, having prices to compare against one another will help you understand where your budget needs to be. You want to also make sure that the contractor you choose is the right fit for you. The contractor and the team behind them will be managing the renovation project. You need to make sure that you select someone you will be comfortable working with for the duration of the project. This will also give you the opportunity to start asking questions and can often lead to a better understanding as to what you are paying for.
2. Understand how much things cost
There is nothing worse than being disappointed due to an expectation not being met. This is the same for understanding what things cost for renovation. If you understand that a renovation will cost a certain amount of money, your idea of getting the renovation you want done will be achievable on a budget that is realistic. Do your research and find out what a renovation will roughly cost for what you are looking at having done. Your contractor should be able to ballpark this number but also ask around and of course hit up your friend Mr. Internet for some suggested pricing based on the local market.
3. Take Recommendations or Referrals
As social media now plays a big part in today’s business world, finding a recommendation for a good contractor or renovation company is a lot easier. As well, a word-of-mouth referral or recommendation is a fantastic way to begin the selection of contractors you want to consider. If a valuable experience is had by others with their renovation and they share it with you, this will give you a terrific opportunity to ask some candid questions to your source about the company you are essentially “investigating.” An already established relationship with a source that is trustworthy will be better received as a genuine recommendation. Most people who have great experiences with their renovations are happy to share their story and often pass along their contacts.
4. Trust the relationship. Trust your instincts. Do some digging.
When you have nailed down a few options for your contractors, the next step will involve your overall feelings of trust. That old expression “Listen to your gut” is key here. There are different approaches to how contractors and renovation companies will approach building a relationship with their clients. What you should be gaging during your introduction to each of them is their renovation knowledge, experience, personality, and professionalism. Remember who you choose will become a part of your life for days, weeks, or even months and years during the warranty depending on the contractors warranty. As their will also be points of negotiation, having a level of trust to ensure the work is being done in the most conscientious way to meet budget and overall expectations is particularly important. Ask about their processes and how they communicate and make sure it aligns with what you need to feel comfortable through this experience.
Asking what a contractor is currently working on and if you can stop by to see their work is another way to see if a contractor is right for you. If the contractor shies away from this, it may be a sign. If they are not currently working on any projects, that is another sign. It could also give you the chance to meet the person they are working for to get an opinion on how it is going. While on-site, see how many workers there are and how safe, clean, and organized the site seems, as well as the quality of the work being done. Ask about their interaction with past clients and listen to how they tell their experience. By asking this line of questioning, you may uncover that a specific renovator may not be for you.
5. The Hard Numbers. Get Pricing with Detail.
At the end of the day, you want to know what you are paying for. Ask for a breakdown of pricing to understand if and why certain areas of the project come in too high. An estimate with detail can show that your contractor has taken the time to think about your project and is not employing the “Guess-timate” pricing strategy.
Your estimate should contain details to help you better understand the cost and where your money will be going. As a client, please know that the price given is often based on the estimate being taken for all the work to be completed. If you decide to take out a single item to start that item first and postpone the remaining work, have the job requoted as the line item in the bulk quote will most likely change.
Don’t forget to check out our follow-up article