Are you getting multiple proposals from contractors to start your remodel? Some things you should think about before you sign on the dotted line.
Let’s first start with defining the different kind of contractors that are available for you to choose from:
- General Contractor – manages all aspects of a project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits, and scheduling inspections.
- Specialty Contractor – installs products like cabinets and bathroom fixtures
- Architect – designs homes, additions, and major renovations… especially ones involving structural changes
- Designer or Design/Build Contractor – provides both services/all the above
Now that we have established what kind of contractor we are looking for on our particular job, we can start to interview potential professionals. These are some of the DO’s and DON’T” S to start you off on the right foot:
- Research your potential contractor – ask for references, call past clients and do they work with sub-contractors.
- Verify the License and Insurance – you should always hire a licensed and insured general contractor to perform all the trades needed for any remodel.
- Limit your down payment - $1,000.00 or 10% of the total job is the law, but the contractor could also ask for a separate deposit for job materials. No contractor should ever work off their own finances to fund any one job. We don’t want them to go out of business before they start!
- A pay schedule should always be in writing – you should always know what your payment schedule will look like before the work starts, and if for any reason the work should stop, the payments will stop accordingly.
- Do not go for the cheapest price – not all contractors measure up the same and price is a sure way to determine the difference.
- Get everything in writing – I cannot state this enough! Your contractor can and should have a very detailed contract. Leave nothing to chance, if you have any problems, your contract will prevail in the end!
When you are thinking of a remodel and maybe a new build, the research and knowledge can be overwhelming. Remember, this process is something you have thought about for a long time and this should be a wonderful experience. Follow a few key steps up front and have all the paperwork in order, and your beautiful home will be complete before you know it!