This article will explore 5 steps to help you hire the right contractor for your project and give you useful advice on how to find the professional that is best for you
The most important step in finding the right professional is to get feedback from those who have used their services. It’s a good idea to find your contractor at the beginning of your project because the professional that you have chosen is a wealth of information and will be able to share precious insight.
If you are lucky enough to have friends or family members that recommend the services of a professional who has done an exceptional job then by all means contact this individual first!
If this is not the case, go to the local professional association for a listing of local contractors which is a good place to start for a pool of professionals in your area and to be assured that their licences are in order. Another thing that you want to make sure of is adequate insurance to avoid being liable for accidents and higher insurance premiums.
Ask for references, a contractor who does good work on time and on budget will have an abundance of customers willing to share their experiences.
Try to visit a site… how does it look if the work is in progress? Find out whether the work carries a warranty and if so, for how long? Did the contractor stay on time and on budget? For an older project, did the work stand the test of time?
What is the schedule?
The schedule is more than just start and stop dates, it should include major benchmarks as well.
Deadlines for receipt of materials, sub contractors and payment dates are important and you want to be sure to have a way to ensure that the scheduled work has been done on time and according to requirements. You want to know who will be on site and when and who is responsible for obtaining permits and the kind of documentation you will receive after the job is finished.
Is there any part of my project that bothers you?
The general contractor should have access to the resources necessary to accomplish the job. If there will be several professionals involved you want the G.C. to be able to orchestrate their presence on site to get the project done on time and on budget. This kind of planning is better left to the professionals because even if you have done some DIY renovations in the past the number of decisions involved in a large project can drain you of time, energy and $$$
Request a physical address at which to drop off payments as this will help if you need to track down your contractor because it will be next to impossible to do so a post office box!
The great thing about Email is that communication is not limited to specific hours. Another advantage is that everything is in writing so there is nothing left to chance because the problem is clearly stated and response is direct.
Phone calls are also important so make sure that you exchange all numbers to be able to communicate even after hours if the need arises. Don’t wait until an emergency situation arises to realize that you can’t get in touch!
Don’t neglect the contract Even if you had a great feeling about your contractor a written contract is your best guarantee of getting what you want within the agreed upon time frame. Writing things down will help avoid ambiguity and the details about the project, who is responsible for clean up and whose insurance is going to cover any damages.