Remodeling a home can be an exciting time and also a very stressful if the right people are not hired for the job. The difference between hiring a good contractor and a bad contractor is how organized, efficient, and seamless the process is. Hiring a good contractor takes time and effort and is well worth it. Hiring a contractor is much more than hiring someone based on price alone. Price alone should not dictate on who you choose to help you with the construction of your home. Your home is your sanctuary and a poor quality construction job may make you not love your home as much as you could.
There are many facets to factor in when deciding on which contractor to hire for your remodeling job. Asking for references, detailed pricing, timelines, insurance, are just to name a few. It is a smart idea to interview multiple contractors for the job and ask each one to follow a specific set of instructions on how to submit their bid. If a contractor does not follow the instructions of the application process, this speaks volumes to how they will handle the job. Construction can be a lengthy and detailed process so it is smart to work with someone who listens and follows your instructions. Below are a few aspects to follow when hiring a contractor.
Have A Detailed Scope of Work
Any successful home remodeling construction project will have detailed and specific instructions of the work that is expected called a Scope of Work. A scope of work document is an agreement of the job that is going to be performed and clearly lists the deliverables, work to be done, schedule of work, milestones, and expected progress reports. This document must be clear, complete, logical, and concise enough to be understood of what is being asked of the contractor. The SOW allows for clear and concise communication between everyone involved in the project and is used as a tool to keep everyone on track.
Choose and Price Out Materials Beforehand
A general contractor is not an interior designer. A general contractor’s job is to follow your instructions and specifications on what you would like built and what materials you would like installed. Choosing the materials and the design before interviewing contractors will allow contractors to submit bids that are accurately quoted in price and length of the project. A vague scope of work will not benefit anyone involved in the remodeling process. A vague scope of work allows for timelines to not be met, pricing to go up, and unclear communication can cause problems.
Hire An Insured Contractor
Unfortunately, construction accidents are a part of the norm in the construction industry because of the very nature of the job. It is extremely important you hire a contractor who is insured and has the correct insurance. During the interview process, ask the contractors to submit their insurance company contact information so you can double check they have construction insurance.
Ask for References
During the bid submission process, ask all the contractors to submit three different references. It is a very good idea to speak with past clients they have worked with to learn about their communication style, their attitude, and the overall satisfaction of their work. It is also a good idea to ask the contractor to submit images of their past work in the application process. Seeing the finished work of the contractor and speaking to past clients will guide you in hiring the best contractor for the job.
Ask About Timelines
The key to a successful construction job is staying on track with timelines. During the interview process, ask the contractor how long he believes the job will take and then add an extra 6 weeks to manage the expectations. There can be many unforeseen circumstances that appear as the job progresses. Allowing for extra time for each step allows everyone to have expectations everyone agrees on. If the contractor finishes a step or the project before the expected end date, you can offer a bonus for a job completed. Bonuses and incentives can help in ensuring the contractor is adhering to timelines and efficiency.
Do Not Pay Up Front
Some contractors will ask you to pay in full for the work they are going to be doing your home. Do not pay the contractor up front, instead create a payment schedule that coincides with the agreed upon timeline. As the contractor finishes each step of the job on-time, that contractor gets paid for that work. Any specific materials for the construction job can be bought with your own money beforehand which will negate any conversations about the contractor needing money to buy materials.