Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming because there are so many things to look out for and criteria that you want met as a homeowner conducting a renovation. No matter what the project is, the contractor you pick sets the overall outcome of the job. Everyone has their own list of specific things they want in a contractor whether that’s a flexible schedule, a strict deadline, or even a certain certification. Recently, we came across an article on Angie’s List that inspired us to make a checklist for you as the homeowner to follow that will help make sure you have the best quality contractor for the job.
1. Make a List
Before you go about finding a contractor that works best for you, make a list of all the things you want in a contractor. From certifications, permits, job experience, or certain pricing- list it all so you can easily meet all your standards.
2. Communicate with Them
Once you choose a contractor, make sure you communicate with them. Make sure they are fully aware of your budget, the renovation project, and any specifics that you want, don’t want or feel like they should know. Without communication, there is a lot of room for mistakes to be made when you can easily avoid them.
3. Pay attention the price
When you are making a budget, keep in mind that the price of a contractor reflects the quality of their work. Keep an open mind and consider the fact that you may go over your budget to get great quality work. This also depends on the project and how intricate it is.
4. Be familiar with their credentials
Always check to see if your contractor’s credentials are valid before you hire them. Most of the time if you are doing any major renovation, for you to qualify for home insurance you have to get the work done by certified contractors, so this is an important thing to pay attention to.
5. Always Get it in Writing
Before your contractor starts on any renovations or projects, make sure that your contract is in writing, is correct, and that you have a signed copy. This way, if they come back and try to say something was misunderstood regarding the project itself or pricing you can have proof and hold them to it.
6. Make your budget known
Make sure you speak your budget and make it clear that you can’t go over a certain amount. Unfortunately, a lot of contractors will try and get more money out of you for many different reasons. If you communicate with them and be stern, you are more likely to avoid any trouble.
7. Educate yourself
Ask all the questions you need to ask so you are comfortable and aware of what is going on. Home renovations can be stressful and if you don’t know what to expect you can easily get overwhelmed. Don’t feel bad for asking questions and make sure you are aware of the timeline of events.
8. Treat yourself during the process
The number one thing to remember throughout the whole process is that it will soon be over. This may sound dramatic, but for anyone who has gone through the process you will know that you can get easily agitated and want to give up. But don’t! It will be over before you know it and you will be happy you pushed through. Treat yourself to a dinner, a drink, a massage, a pedicure or whatever you need to give yourself some time to breathe and relax.
9. Do a double check
Before you sign off on the completion, do a walk through and make sure everything is done to your liking and that nothing needs adjusting. This is the final opportunity to have your contractor fix things that stand out to you.
Everyone is different and you may find that you want to add or change things on this list, do it! The purpose of this list is to give you inspiration on what your list may look like during your next renovation. Just remember to keep calm and breathe. Happy renovating!