The best part about being a homeowner is that you are free to change your home’s appearance and layout whenever you please. Whether you want to add an extra room, renovate your kitchen, or repaint your living room, you have the power to make those changes.
But of course, actually carrying out those changes is another story. Home renovations can be expensive, time-consuming, and downright stressful. Unless you’re a professional contractor yourself, it’s usually a good idea to hire someone else to do the work for you.
However, before you start interviewing contractors, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Hiring a contractor is a big decision, and it’s one that you need to approach carefully. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you make the best decision possible.
- Do #1: Get Referrals
- Don’t #1: Hire the First Contractor You Come Across
- Do #2: Ask for References
- Don’t #2: Sign a Contract Without Reading It
- Do #3: Get Everything in Writing
- Don’t #3: Pay the Entire Amount Upfront
- Do #4: Inspect the Work
- Don’t #4: Forget to Get a Warranty
- Do #5: Review the Contractor’s Insurance
- Don’t #5: Rush the Process
Do #1: Get Referrals
When looking for a contractor, it’s always best to get referrals from friends or family who have recently had a renovation project done. They can tell you which contractor they used and if they were happy with the job done. You could also ask your real estate agent for recommendations. They should have a list of reliable contractors they’ve worked with in the past, mainly if they have been catering to your area.
Don’t #1: Hire the First Contractor You Come Across
It’s vital to interview different contractors before making your final decision. This will give you a chance to compare prices and services while getting a feel for each company. Of course, you want to make sure you’re comfortable with the contractor you choose, but don’t just go with the first one you come across.
Do #2: Ask for References
When you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask each contractor for references from past clients. This is a great way to get an idea of the quality of work because you could ask these clients specific questions about the renovation project. For instance, you could ask if the job was completed on time and budget, if they were happy with the workmanship, etc.
Don’t #2: Sign a Contract Without Reading It
It’s important to read over the contract thoroughly before signing it. This will help ensure that you understand what is expected of you and the contractor. And always look at the fine print! Contracts can often contain hidden charges, so be sure you know what you’re signing up for.
Do #3: Get Everything in Writing
To ensure there are no misunderstandings, it’s crucial to get everything in writing. This includes the contract and what is expected of both you and the contractor. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you have everything in writing before the project begins.
Don’t #3: Pay the Entire Amount Upfront
It’s best not to pay for the entire job upfront. You should only pay a percentage (usually around 25%) when the job is started and the rest when it’s completed. This is because you want to ensure the job is done to your satisfaction before paying in full and avoid any potential issues if the job isn’t completed.
Do #4: Inspect the Work
Once the job is done, be sure to inspect the work done. This will help ensure that you’re happy with the results and that everything was done to your expectations. If there are any issues, be sure to address them with the contractor immediately so that they can be fixed.
Don’t #4: Forget to Get a Warranty
Be sure to get a warranty for the work that was done. This will protect you in case anything goes wrong down the road, such as the contractor not completing the job to your satisfaction or the work starting to fall apart after a few months. So, always make it a habit to get a warranty for any work on your home.
Do #5: Review the Contractor’s Insurance
Before work begins, review the contractor’s insurance to ensure they’re adequately insured. This is important because it will protect you if anything goes wrong during the project, such as the contractor damaging your property. Besides, you don’t want to be liable for any accidents during the job.
Don’t #5: Rush the Process
It’s essential to take your time when hiring a contractor. This is a big decision, so you want to make sure you’re making the right one. Don’t rush into anything, and take your time interviewing different contractors. And even when you’ve found a contractor to trust, you should still take the time to properly renovate the house because not doing so can lead to structural problems.
There you have it! Remember these dos and don’ts when hiring a contractor for your home renovation project. Hiring a contractor can be tricky, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to find the right one for the job. So, good luck and happy renovating!