01 Aug 8 Tips for Hiring a Contractor
So, you’ve got a home remodeling project, but while researching to find the right contractor to do the job, you find there’s an innumerable number of contractors in your area. Finding a great contractor can be quite a daunting task. Choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems. These guidelines will help you choose a professional contractor and ensure a good working relationship.
1 – Go With Your Gut
A contractor could be in your home and around your family for days, weeks, or even months while changing the way your house looks and functions. That said, if you don’t like a contractor for any reason, simply don’t hire them. During our beginning phase, we ask many detailed questions to gather as much information and share as much as we can with our potential clients.
We ask for information regarding past experiences, how they expect the project to go, timelines budgets, goals, and much more to make sure that not only can we provide an excellent experience, but to make sure we are really building a relationship before the project begins.
2- Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed to Work in Your Area, Bonded, and Insured.
If a contractor doesn’t have insurance and a worker gets hurt on your project, you could be liable. The same goes for accidents that damage your next-door neighbor’s home. Get proof of insurance. Just as important, ask to see a copy of their contractor’s license. This should be one of the first steps that you follow when choosing a contractor. If they aren’t licensed and bonded, you need to move on to the next option.
3- Pick a Contractor Who Specializes in Your Project Type
IIt makes sense to pick a contractor who specializes in your type of work because they aren’t doing something new for the first time. While you may have some personal touches that your contactor hasn’t seen before, they should have familiarity with your project before starting.
At Bayard Builders, we focus on what we know we are good at. If it’s not a project that works for our team, we will do the best we can to refer you to someone in the field that we know can provide you with a high level of service.
4- Have a Detailed Contract in Place Before any Work Begins
At Bayard, we have a thorough construction agreement that covers all the bases. The contract should cover costs, brands of items being installed, approximate start and finish dates, and the complete set of drawings being used with the written specification, if needed. There really can never be too much detail in the plans as this eliminates the opportunity for miscommunication.
Our process also includes software called Co-Construct, which allows all communication, change orders, plans, contracts, etc. to live in one place. With so many emails, texts, phone calls, and bids, it can be easy to lose track of who said what. Co-Construct eliminates this.
5- Give the Contractor Guidelines for Working In or Around Your Home
If you don’t want the workers showing up before a certain time, staying past a certain hour, using your bathroom, or you need to have the project finished by a specific date, tell the contractor before you hire them. The contractor may not want or be able to accept the job based on your parameters.
If you have special requirements, make sure to communicate and agree upon them before starting.
6- Know What Your Responsibilities Are
During your preconstruction process, make sure to agree upon all responsibilities. If you need to have furniture moved out of a room, be aware and have it done. Construction is a chain of events and one missed step often backs up the entire process. Many companies will not touch personal items because they do not want to be responsible for broken/damaged items.
7- Look at Their Work Samples
This lets you see a contractor’s handy work and may spark ideas for your project. Looking at a contractor’s past projects also lets you see the variety of work the company has performed, such as contemporary, craftsman, or historic designs. Have they done work that fits your goals? If so, they may be a fit for you!
8 – Think Locally
Area contractors who have been in business for a long time are usually reliable and safe bets for projects. If they didn’t do good work in your community, they wouldn’t still be around. Ask for references. If a contractor has done great, local work, they will have references you can check. Look at their website- it will be a direct reflection on how they carry themselves.
If you have any more questions, please reach out if you have any additional questions, we’d love to help!