Before setting out to hire a contractor, know who and why you are hiring them. Do you need a general contractor or are you able to do some of the work yourself and will hire skilled subcontractors? In your search for a contractor, be sure to check reviews in professional service websites. Houzz, Angi and Home Advisor are popular sites. Also check professional organizations such as NARI (The National Association of Remodeling Industry) Better Business Bureau and other local agencies.
All Costs Need to Be Set in the Contract
Once your budget is established and the bid is accepted, it needs to be followed by both parties. When you hire a contractor make sure everything is agreed upon in writing. Change orders and add-ons can be endless because of the “while we are at it” syndrome. Be sure to research thoroughly the contractor’s history of completing projects. Watch for reviews that reference overcharges.
Do You Need the Contractor You Hire to Be Licensed, Insured and/or Bonded?
Licensing Not all cities, counties or state governments require education, certification and licensing in the building industry. If you live in an area that doesn’t, you will need to do more research on the builder’s experience and reputation. Insurance and bonds There are three different insurance types that good contractors carry. They carry insurance on the work they perform, which allows them to offer a warranty. They carry workers’ compensation insurance, as required by law, to cover themselves and their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury. The third type of insurance good contractors carry is actually a bond that protects them and you in the event that the contract is not fulfilled or that there is damage to your home while they are working on it.
How to Compare Bids?
To compare bids, make sure all materials are of the same quality if not the same exact item. You will want to be sure each bid has both materials and labor listed separately, so you can make a good comparison on what you are purchasing. Especially in today’s busy remodeling market timeline may need to be very flexible. At this time all good contractors are busy. If you can, make allowances in your timeline to get quality materials and workmanship.
When You Hire a Contractor Make Sure You Are Hiring a Professional
When you hire a contractor, compatibility is a good thing to have. More importantly, you want someone who is trustworthy and dependable. General contractors should be stopping by often to check on the progress of the work. A good contractor complies with all building codes, permit and inspection requirements. How and why you hire a contractor will make a big difference in the success of your project. Knowing the language spoken by the industry will help you to understand the process and set your expectations for the outcome. Your home and your project are valuable and worth the extra time it takes to research contractors before you sign on the dotted line.