How to Best Hire the Right Contractor

Your home is where you spend most of your time, so you don’t want inferior quality construction glaring at you from every corner. Before hiring a contractor, do your due diligence. Cost should not be the sole factor in whom you decide to hire to build or remodel your dream home. Make sure you take the proper steps before choosing a contractor. Read more to learn how to hire the right contractor.

Start with a detailed plan.
This is the most crucial step before you begin comparing contractors. Consider working with a professional designer or architect who can come up with a thorough plan to show your contractor so that he knows precisely what you have planned for your space. If you feel confident in doing it yourself, be sure to communicate every step of the way. Walking your contractor through the areas you want to be remodeled without a detailed plan in hand will not only allow the contractor to change his pricing as he goes since the specifics were never discussed from the beginning, but it also leaves room for miscommunication and mistakes. It is imperative to be prepared when you hire the right contractor to ensure your project runs smoothly.

Remember that your permit drawings are not complete plans, but merely contain limited information regarding the final design of your space. They render knowledge about the general layout and structure but have limited or no information on finishes, interior architecture, lighting, and electrical features. All of that is the information that your contractor will need to give you accurate pricing on before you begin construction.

Provide a list of specs ahead of time.
Your authority on finishes, fixtures, appliances, and accessories is your list of specifications. The price to rehabilitate even a small bathroom can vary by tens of thousands of dollars depending on its finishes and fittings. By selecting your plumbing fixtures, finishes, and accessories ahead of time, you will save yourself and your contractor a lot of anxiety during the construction process. Not only will you have the items on hand when he needs them, but you will also know all the associated costs to install your specified details.

Determine the cost of your project.
If you have been working with a designer or architect and you have a complete set of designs and specifications, ask that professional to provide them to you so that you can send them out to contractors for bids. Do your homework and research contractor reviews and backgrounds. Although price should be a determining factor, it should not be the only one.

If you have the detailed set of plans as mentioned above, you will get similar pricing from the contractors bidding on the job. The contractors will have to adhere to their provided pricing since they already had all of the information in their hands. If you do not have plans or specs in advance, make sure you choose a contractor that is well versed in this part of the process, and remember that communication is critical.

Guarantee your contractor is insured.
We’ve all heard horror stories about what can happen when a subpar contracting company is hired. Unfortunately, accidents are somewhat standard in this industry. Contractors must manage a significant crew to make your project go smoothly, and it’s not an easy task. There are bound to be mishaps occasionally, so please make sure your contractor is insured and is set up to deal with them appropriately.

Review your contractor’s prior work.
Once you’ve bid out your project and have a contractor in mind, ask to see some of their previous jobs. If you like what you see, and the owner of the other house or building is happy with how things turned out, there’s a good chance that you will be satisfied as well. Excellent references are a sure sign you’ve hired the right contracting company.

Interview your contractor.
You will need to remain close to your general contractor throughout your project. Make sure you select someone you trust and can communicate with easily. During initial meetings, ask how unexpected issues or differences in opinion might be handled. By doing so, you will gain a better understanding of how they will handle unforeseen obstacles. Let them know that you want them to keep you updated throughout the process.

Ask how they handle extras.
Your contractor may not have priced some items for your renovation, such as closet organizers and bathroom accessories, especially if you decide you want them later on in the project. Ask your contractor how they deal with extras. Some contractors use extras as an opportunity to make more money because you are already committed to them. The right contractor will not view them in that light.

Ask about timelines.
Ask your contractor how long they believe it will take to complete the job and then add an extra eight weeks to better guide your expectations. It is not that contractors cannot or do not finish on time, but many unforeseen incidents can happen on a construction site. If you are better prepared for a reasonable time frame from the start, you will not end up frustrated if and when setbacks occur. Follow these tips to hire the right contractor so that you will have peace of mind.