This week, I thought I would share a few helpful tips to help you be prepared when working with contractors. Here are a few of the things I find most helpful. By using these tips, you will help make sure your project is completed on time, and with no unexpected surprises or disappointments.
Tip # 1. It goes without saying, but make sure that the contractor has a current license and is insured.
Tip # 2. Check to make sure there aren’t any complaints about that license or bad reviews online. Ask for references and check those out as well.
Tip # 3. Once you have made the call, make sure they arrive on time and communicate in a timely manner. If they continuously arrive late or seem to lag in their communication, it could mean they are doing multiple jobs. With multiple jobs, they may not have time to give your job their full attention. Be sure and ask up front how many jobs they will be working on while they work for you.
Tip # 4. When working with contractors, get estimates in writing with a detailed list of the work or repairs to be done. This helps protect you in case there is a problem. It will provide you with a written copy to refer to. For example, if it is electrical work make sure that all parts, labor, and specific details are clearly stated on your estimate. Be wary of vague or non-specific estimates!
Tip # 5. Make sure to get a time frame from the contractor for how long the work will take. A good contractor should be able to provide a realistic time frame to get the required repairs done.
Tip # 6. Ask your contractor what you can do to help make his job easier. Usually, construction work is done in a specific order. Some items for repairs need to be ordered weeks in advance to keep the schedule running smoothly. Your contractor might want you to order these items first.
Tip # 7. Have your floor plan and any elevation drawing copies ready to give to your contractor. This will help him or her create the look of the design you are after. This could also help save mistakes that might cost you both if something is missed.
Tip # 8. Finally, when all the work is complete, get a paid in full receipt. A good contractor will be more than happy to provide one for you.
By following these tips, you’ll be well prepared, and protected in case a problem comes up. Working with contractors does not have to be a stressful or disappointing experience. With the proper research, communication, and expectations, You will be able to ensure the successful completion of your project.