Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Working with Contractors
When it comes to contractors, it can be so easy to get taken advantage of. To avoid falling into the trap of shoddy work, messy leftovers, and losing money, there are some things you should know about working with contractors. Having an idea of what to expect can really make your life much easier and guarantee you a better outcome for your project.
Do Your Homework
First of all, every homeowner should do their homework before meeting with potential contractors and making a decision on who to hire. If you don’t, you may accidentally hire someone who is neither qualified or an actual contractor. T
Verify: Make sure to verify all licensing and insurance and make sure that the coverage they have is appropriate for the amount and type of work being done. Call their references and actually talk to them about the contractor’s work, timeliness, and attitude.
Know Your Project: Also, do due diligence when it comes to your actual project. If you rely on the contractor to know all of the details and call the shots, you might get taken for a ride. Do your research and know the work it will take to complete your project, how long it should take, the materials and work involved, and what similar projects cost in your area.
When you take the time to research not only your project, but the contractors who will be working on your project, you’ll ensure a successful completion of the venture.
Do not make the mistake of just leaving the contractor and workers to complete the project without any supervision. Make sure you stop by quite often, ask questions and point out things that don’t look right to you. This can help you avoid accidentally letting the contractor cut corners or hire unqualified workers ensuring that everything is on the “up and up” at your project site.
Don’t Be Afraid To Step In
If something looks wrong or if you have questions about the progress of your project, don’t be afraid to step in and ask. You are paying for this work to be done, after all, and you want to make sure the outcome is what you are expecting. This doesn’t mean make a complete nuisance of yourself, but do be present and aware of what is happening, and ask questions when you need to.
Do Not Pay Up Front
Paying up front is one way to get the rug pulled from under you. You should pay a small down payment, and then make incremental payments based on the work being done, and then withhold the final and largest check until after the job is done, inspected, and cleaned up properly. Otherwise you might end up with an unfinished project or a huge mess to clean up.
Look At Everything — Twice
Before you hand over that final check, do multiple walk-throughs of the final project.
Inspect Alone: Try to go through at least once or twice without the contractor next to you so you will have the space to inspect every tiny detail of the work you commissioned. Use some blue tape to mark the issues that you see. Make notes if you have to. Then, don’t be afraid to point out mistakes or things that need to be fixed to the contractor before making your final payment.
Having a prior knowledge of how to deal with contractors and what to expect will help you with your future home improvement projects. These are things that every homeowner should know about hiring contractors, and advice that you should absolutely follow when looking to hire your own contractor.