As most homeowners who have done home renovation would attest, one of the hardest parts of the construction process is finding a reliable and competent contractor to do the work. This is a very important detail that needs to be ticked off from the building to-do list before any actual work begins.
We’ve heard of stories about how contractors who turned out to be disastrous caused their clients to stress with their poor work. In some instances, they even ran the construction cost up to two times the price of the original estimate or even higher.
If a potential client would just do the necessary things to land them an ideal construction partner, then that wouldn’t be the case. They can make a project succeed with help from a contractor.
The following are tips on how to find the right contractor, made by our expert team at InTrevco General Contracting. Hopefully, these help you make intelligent decisions in the selection process.
Before enlisting the services of a contractor, you should first know what you want. Make a plan and gather all the ideas you have for the planned renovation, including what you want to be part of the work and the materials to be used. By doing so, you can be more specific when you talk to your chosen contractor and get a more accurate estimate of the cost.
Bringing in a contractor or an architect too early may lead to them influencing you into what they think the project should be rather than what you want in the first place. Organize your ideas and plans so you can communicate better with your construction partners.
How much you can shell out can dictate the direction of the project you want to be done. Figure out your budget first and make decisions from there, including who to hire a contractor.
The process of selecting a contractor can start with getting references from people who have done similar projects before. It can be from friends and families or neighbors. Ask them about their level of satisfaction with the renovation done and whether they would recommend their contractor to others.
Local hardware stores are good sources for contractor referrals as well. You can also check the listings of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry in your area.
Check online reviews on your prospective contractor. Look for those who have worked on similar projects like yours. Still, be discerning when reading reviews as they are sometimes limited in what they say about one’s work.
In looking for the right contractor to do work for you, don’t rush into a decision. Talk to three to five of them so you can have more options. Ask all the questions you have for them and request a written proposal. Study their proposals and compare their bids. By getting detailed information, you can better decide on who to go to for your project.
If you already have a list of potential contractors, look up their licenses. A quick search with your state’s board for licensing contractors should help. Also, ask for a copy of their insurance certificates. Look for worker’s compensation and general liability coverage as this may come in handy in case there are accidents. Surety bonds of contractors are something to look at since these guarantee the completion of a contractor’s work.
In studying who to select as a contractor, always choose the right people for the job. As mentioned earlier, look for a company that has the needed experience for the job you want to be done. You do not want to end up with a contractor who will use your project as something to experiment on.
A company like InTrevco has extensive contractor expertise having done work for home renovations in New York and its main boroughs as well as in Connecticut and New Jersey.
It is also important to agree on a payment schedule ahead of time. By doing so, you can somehow gauge the financial status of the contractor and how they approach their work. If they ask for half the bid up front, this could be a red flag as this may indicate financial problems on their part or they are unsure of your capacity to pay.
Do not pay more than 10% of the total before work starts. Schedule payments accordingly with stipulations to avoid paying your contractor for work not delivered. Also, do not pay the final payment until the job is completely done. Make sure that you are fully satisfied with the work and that all the pertinent documents like lien releases and receipts are turned over to you.
Once you have chosen your contractor, make sure you agree on a detailed contract before work begins. It should clearly spell out what will be done for the project. Apart from the payment schedule, work deadlines and the materials that will be used and where to source them should be included in the contract. Be as detailed as possible; provide addendums if needed. If changes arise in the project, a change in the order of the new work materials and cost must be written.
To make your home project a success, constant communication with your contractor is needed. During the course of work, if you see concerns, make them known immediately so they can be addressed before your construction partners proceed. However, be mindful not to micromanage. Allow your builders to still do their thing. Just be on top of things and ask for regular updates.