Whether you intend to finish your basement, build an addition, or remodel your kitchen, you must always seek the services of a general contractor. Some homeowners prefer to do home improvement projects themselves, but there are specific projects that need the services of a professional contractor.
Remember that you can make costly mistakes when it comes to projects that require a large amount of money. In such cases, hiring a contractor can be the best option because they have the proper expertise to do perfect work. But it can be tricky to find the right contractor, especially if this is your first project. This post discusses everything you should know before you decide to hire a contractor.
Finding A Contractor
There are various ways you can use to find a reputable contractor to handle your project. You can decide to do a simple internet search where you can find a significant number of potential contractors. You can also ask friends and family members for recommendations or visit social media platforms to find potential contractors in your area.
Also, you can check the reviews and online information, which can assist you in connecting with general contractors that deal with similar projects like yours. When you have a list of potential contractors, you can narrow it based on specialties, availability, and many more. Here is the contractor hiring process:
Before Hiring A Contractor
Before you decide to hire a contractor, there are a couple of steps you need to follow to make sure they are a good match. You need to plan your project properly so that you can get accurate quotes. Make sure that you have important details so that you can receive the most accurate quotes at 5Estimates.com.
For example, you may want to paint your living room, so instead of requesting only a quote for painting, you need to provide the square footage, the type of paint, the location, and whether or not the contractor will require you to move or cover any furnishings for them to do the project.
For remodeling a room, there can be several more elements that you need to consider in your project plan. You have to discuss with the potential contractor square footage, counter types, flooring types, lighting, tile, and paint.
If you want a roof repair, then take note of the details that may assist in making the inspection and repair efficient. This includes leaks that you find in specific areas of the house or even missing shingles on a certain part of the roof.
Regardless of how small or large, your project is, you need to gather a lot of details so that the potential contractors can offer you accurate quotes. You should seek to get at least three quotes from contractors. You can also ask them their pricing and what the quotes cover. If you desire to have several projects done, you can contact several contractors so that they can work as a team.
The cost of getting estimates from potential contractors can depend on the situation. For an estimate, a contractor may decide to hear a little about the project and offer you a variety of predicted costs. Quite often, this can be free, especially if it involves small projects, such as painting a room.
On the other hand, when a contractor requires you to answer some specific questions to go to your house to take some measurements or even evaluate the site, you can expect to pay for their expertise and time. This process is more than a simple proposal and estimate.
The charges for estimates involving larger projects depend on the contractor you choose to work with. There is a fee because such projects need customized solutions and more details.
Once you have collected some quotes, you need to check the contractor’s references and qualifications. Make sure that you hire a qualified person who can give you peace of mind that the project is done properly.
A good contractor needs to be licensed or certified to do the work at hand. They should also have insurance. It makes sense to ask for references and credentials for each potential contractor. You can ask these references several questions about the contractor. These include the project’s timeline, communication between customer and contractor, and final quality and costs of the finished project.
You can narrow the shortlist of these contractors by asking the right questions. Besides asking for certifications, licensing, a quote, and insurance, you need to find out about other crucial things that can affect the project. This includes the estimated project timeline, the start and end times of the project, the payment schedule, how you can communicate with them and the expected time you can receive a response, and how they protect the work site.
Hiring A Contractor
After you have decided to work with a specific contractor, you get into the hiring process. You need to have a contract and arrange payments. Don’t start a home improvement project without a contract. Therefore, make sure that you carefully read the contract because it can include the costs, payment schedule, final payments, timeline, and any other details about damages and liabilities in case something goes wrong.
You can also decide to negotiate the down payment as needed. But if you are uncomfortable with specific parts of the contract, then you should discuss it with the contract and revise them until you both feel comfortable.
It’s also important to keep the project’s records. Many contractors tend to do a good job, but you still need to keep track of the project as it progresses. And, if there is a miscommunication problem, then these records can protect you and the contractor. You should also take note of all the outlined details in the contract, such as hours worked, the start and end time of the project, and whether or not the contractor cleans up the areas after each working session. Above all, take note of whether or not the work matches the proposed timeline.