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5 Tips For Hiring The Perfect Contractor


hiring a contractor

I want to start this article by throwing 1 major point at you. If you hire a bad contractor for the job, it doesn't matter how amazing your plans are.

It doesn't matter if you had a brilliant architect and team of engineers come in to create the most elaborate blueprints known to man.

The contractor is in charge of the job site and all sub-contractors that step foot on your property. You need a competent professional who is qualified for the job.

Know exactly what you are looking for with these 5 tips.

 

1. Ask Around

You never want to go blindly into hiring the most important person in your renovation.

Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know someone who is up for the job. Go check out current job sites in your neighborhood and look for contact information if everything looks good.

Consider reaching out to the homeowner on the job site to see how he or she thinks the work is coming along.

Always read reviews and reports from the BBB about the contractors you are researching as well. You are going to spend a big portion of your budget on this person so you need to keep everything in check.

 

2. Contact Leads

Now that you have your list compiled of 6 or 7 qualified candidates, get on the phone and start calling around.

Good contractors will be very easy to talk to and open to discussing any concerns you may have.

Ask things like:

  • Have you done this type of work before?

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Could I contact a previous client to check a reference?

  • How many projects are you involved in at one time?

Never be afraid to ask tough questions, a good contractor will have nothing to hide and will be happy to address anything.

Angie's List screens qualified contractors ahead of time and has a ton of verified reviews.

 

3.Check References & Meet

Call former clients and check current job sites. Pay attention to the state of the work-space.

  • Are they taking care of the property?

  • Does it appear to be an active job site or is everyone kind of hanging around?

  • Are the workers being safe?

Once you have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 choices, meet face to face for an estimate. Communication is crucial, the contractor needs to fully understand your objectives, any pet-peeves you have, and how long you expect the job to take.

 
hiring a contractor

4. Get Bids

Once you have decided on a few choices for contractors, it's time for them to bid on the project.

Material cost for the job should make up roughly 40%, with their profit around 20%. The rest is labor and overhead.

Take a look at the bids, throw out any low-ball offers. While it may look great on paper... you get what you pay for. The cheap contractor is going to cut corners and have a less experienced band of sub-contractors.

Pay attention to time estimates as well. Find out why one contractor says the job will take 2 months, while another one says 5 weeks. It is your right to know and fully understand everything.

ConsumerFTC covers a few "Red Flags" that could mean you are being ripped off, or overcharged.

 
hiring a contractor

5. Get it in Writing

Draw up a contract with everything in detail.

  • Payment schedule

  • Contractors Insurance (as well as sub-contractors)

  • Estimated Start and End Dates

  • Materials required

  • Lien Releases (if the contractor doesn't pay his bills it wont affect your property)

 

Hiring a contractor is definitely the most important part of a renovation, without a good contractor the whole job can fall apart.

A little extra advice... do a thorough walk through before signing off on anything. Make sure everything is exactly what you expected.

This is why clear instructions are so important, if something isn't right you can refer back to your contract and the contractor will be held responsible for that job.

Just do your research ahead of time (as you currently are) and you will have no problem hiring the perfect person for the job!

 

Chime In: Do you have any bad contractor experiences? Share it with us in the comment section!

-Wishing you Success-

Coty

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