What to know when Hiring Contractors

By garagepro • November 20th, 2010

Anytime you take on a big home improvement project, you always want to first make a goal list or plan. There are many questions that need to be answered before you start:

  • List the budget and timeline for your project Is there anything you can do yourself?
  • What experts do you need to consult for starting in on the project?
  • And, do you have a friend or relative who does this for a living?
  • Will they take a phone call from you every once in a while to get their opinion on an issue?
  • Do you need to make arrangements for getting laundry done (if you’re working on the laundry room renovation) or how will your wife provide meals for the family if the kitchen renovation takes a month or two?
  • Are there any building regulations or neighborhood association rules to review?
  • Write out a timeline with specific tasks/project goals and the person/contractor doing that part of the job.

Hiring a Mooresville Home InspectorWarnings: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask around about contractors; get referrals from friends and coworkers. Find out who they used & if they were happy with the work the contractor did. Get used to dealing with high pressure sales people. Stay focused on what your needs are and don’t let them sell you more or less. And, speaking of less…sometimes you’ll run into workers who work for the contractor you hired and on the side they offer to come do a job for you for less than their boss is charging you. Be wary – if they’ll go behind their bosses back, they’ll probably do something on the sly for you too.

Unfortunately, you can’t do business on a handshake any more. Be sure to get a quote in writing with a description of the work to be done, who is responsible for supplies for the project, and the specific start date & anticipated end date listed.

If the contractor asks you for a large deposit of money before the work can begin, then rethink this contractor. Do not pay more money unless the job is running on time and definitely do not pay in full until the job is completed satisfactorily. If a worker asks to borrow one of your tools, don’t do it. You then take on a different type of liability if he were to get injured while using your tool. And, make sure your home has a “sitter”. Either you or someone you trust to watch over your property while workers are there.

Lastly, does your contractor belong to the Better Business Bureau? Get two or more references from them, and be sure to call them to discuss the work done. Record their contractor license number, and ask about business liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

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