A well-designed house is a source of joy and pride for all homeowners. Undoubtedly, you too desire your home to be beautiful, tasteful and well-planned. To achieve this, it’s essential to get your place remodeled and revamped after a certain period.
However, since this is a huge undertaking, you will require a contractor. But how would you determine if a contractor is a right fit for your project? With the help of the following tips and questions of course.
Tips for hiring a contractor
Getting recommendations is one of the most reliable ways to hire a contractor. And one of the best sources to get suggestions are your friends and family. Leverage your contacts to learn about the best talent in the market. The idea is to choose someone who can get the job done swiftly and economically, without compromising on quality.
For instance, if a friend of yours opted for a new custom kitchen design, they would be perfect to guide you in your hiring quest. With their experience, they can easily vouch for the quality, price, and work ethic of the contractor, so you make a more informed decision.
Alternatively, you can also talk to a building inspector, as they are experts in monitoring building codes and local ordinances. A reputed inspector will tell you all about the different contractors in the area, especially those who always follow the rules and those who flout them too often.
Do phone interviews
After you have acquired a few names and contact numbers from your friends and local authorities, it is now time to shortlist the best candidate. Conduct a phone interview to swiftly complete this process.
Questions to ask a home remodeling contractor
Before you call different contractors, it pays to have a list of questions you want to ask, so it’s easy to gauge them based on their answers. Here are 3 fundamental questions you must always ask:
What happens if something runs over budget?
Believe it or not, this is a very common scenario during remodeling. If you have allocated a certain budget for this task, make sure to increase it by about 10 to 25 per cent to account for unforeseen scenarios. Moreover, asking this question to the contractor will inform you of their skill level. You can also gauge their work ethic, as a quality contractor will not shy away from recommending the best materials in your budget, as opposed to cutting corners.
For example, if you want to remodel your bathroom, but forgot to factor in shower doors in your budget, then it’s vital to bring this up with your contractor. If they are experienced and skilled, they will suggest quality custom glass shower doors which might overshoot your budget, but only by a nominal margin. Therefore, asking them such specific questions is a perfect way to analyze a contractor for a job.
Are you licensed and certified?
Another certain way to analyze a contractor is by examining their various licenses and certifications. Ask the prospective contractor about their work experience, including the various certifications they have under their name. You can crosscheck the information they provide with the help of an online licensing page. Most states in the United States and Canada have this information online.
Apart from cross-referencing these details, you must also check what specific licenses are required by your local government. This is necessary as not having the proper certifications can mean that they are not qualified for a particular job. Is that a risk you want to take? Hence, it’s best to check their qualifications.
Moreover, advanced certifications and memberships are a bonus. For example, in the United States, if a contractor holds a Certified Graduate Remodeler certificate from the National Association of Home Builders or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, they are considered elite in their field.
What are your payment terms?
While you will sign an agreement with the contractor before starting the project, it’s vital to iron out all the details so you aren’t thrown off-guard by any unforeseen surprises. This is one aspect many homeowners are unaware of or neglect while hiring. Hence, check the terms and conditions of a contract in your region before hiring someone, so that you have a distinct advantage in a given situation.
For instance, in the state of Virginia, all workers abide by the line-item contract. For the uninitiated, a line-item contract lists out all tasks in a particular job in detail. Hence, there is absolute clarity between the homeowner and the contractor. The former can’t exploit the latter with more work. Similarly, the contractor can’t refuse to perform any task mentioned in the contract. Ultimately, such an ironclad agreement will keep things transparent between you and your contractor.
In the end, the list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but following these basic tips will go a long way in hiring the perfect contractor for your renovation project.
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works as a brand consultant and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write about healthcare, finance & home decor. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him via LinkedIn.