Handshakes Are Not Enough
When it comes to contracting out work to be done on your home, there is a lot more than money at stake. You want to make absolutely sure that you will be able to ensure the very best work and outcome possible. This means maintaining a level of strict professionalism and that means doing things the “right way”.
Get It in Writing
Just like any business transaction, you should have a written contract between you and your chosen contractor. Nothing is legal without having a contract. While a court of law might go by your word of a handshake, most of the time they’ll go by the contract.
Be Detailed And Specific: Your contract should outline all of the work to be done, the expected timeline, and the payment schedule all in great detail. Leave nothing out to make sure that both you and the contractor are protected. The more detailed your contract is, the better able you will be able to be to ensure the best work.
Make Updates As You Go: As time goes on, if changes need to be made to the contract due to time delays or budgeting, you can make updates. It’s not a good idea to leave anything to chance and/or expect certain things to get done a certain way if they are not detailed on your contract. But, be aware that changes can cost you.
Do Your Research
Before hiring any contractor, make sure to do your homework to make sure you are hiring the best and most reputable professional.
Likeable Doesn’t Mean Good: You really shouldn’t just rely on whether or not you think the contractor you met is a “nice guy”. You need more reassurance than that when it comes to your project. Make sure to call references and discuss the contractor’s work, behavior, and timeliness among other questions you might have.
Check Everything: It is also a good idea to go and see past handiwork in person if you are able, as pictures aren’t always the best indicators of good work. Complete a thorough background check on anyone that you plan to hire, and always verify licensing and insurance information.
Don’t Hire Friends
It might be hard to turn down your friends when it comes to your construction and home improvement projects, but it might be more beneficial to your friendship if you do not hire people that are close to you.
You’re In Charge: You need to maintain the most professional relationship possible, and that might not be possible if you hire your friend. If your friend is working for you, it might throw off the balance of your friendship.
Keep It Comfortable: Not only that, but you may not feel comfortable treating your friend like someone that you have hired to do work for you, which might affect the quality of work that is done. If you did enforce professional behavior, it could affect your relationship down the road. So it is really just best, any way you look at it, to not hire your friends.
The meaning of “handshakes are not enough” comes down to being professional so that you can rightly expect the very best out of your construction or home improvement project. If you treat your project like the business transaction that it is, and act accordingly, you can ensure a more successful project.