Are you looking for hiring a contractor?
Are you looking for hiring a contractor for your home renovation project but aren’t sure where to start?
Home renovations are a big emotional and financial investment so it’s important to ensure that you’re hiring a good renovation company that you can trust and that will deliver a great end product.
Here’s our list of the top 7 things you should consider when choosing a home renovation contractor:
1) Do a background check
Meet with the contractor face to face and ask him about his experience and his portfolio. “He shouldn’t just flash a few photos off of his phone,” says Jack. “Anyone can steal photos off the internet.” Ask the contractor to provide at least 5 contact numbers for references.
The next step is to actually call the references and ask the following questions:
- How much down payment did they pay?
- Did he start and finish on time?
- Were there any issues?
- Where there any hidden costs?
- Are you happy with the work?
In addition, an honest contractor will also divulge what a former client paid for a job. But keep in mind if the bathroom was completed two years ago, you should factor in inflation.
2) The expertise should match the job
Always ensure the person doing the job is an expert in their field. A finish carpenter should not be installing the new electrical panel. The contractor should verify that his trades have the credentials for the job, after all you want professional results for the work you’re paying for.
3) Ensure he (or she) is insured
Did you know if a roofer falls off your house you’re liable? Workplace safety is serious business. It’s critical to both your peace of mind and your contractor’s, which is why in British Columbia we have WCB (Workers Compensation Board) coverage. The Independent agency will pay a certain percentage of net wage loss should an accident occur onsite. A homeowner should always ask for proof of WCB coverage. Every contractor should be able to provident his information, and you can go to the WCB website to certain the contractor’s current status of coverage.
4) Start a paper trail
The most common disputes after a job finishes revolve around money. That can be avoided with this advice: “Get a written contract. Extras can be commonplace on jobs, and they should be accounted for in writing. As a job proceeds there could be unexpected surprises that could cost more to fix, or the homeowner may decide they want to add something to the job. In such cases document the extras as the job proceeds so the accounting is straight between you as the client and the contractor.
The written contract should never be vague, and always include the following:
- Start and approximate finish dates
- Any potential additional costs
- Detailed payment schedule
5) The cheapest contractor is the most expensive
The adage “you get what you pay for” comes to mind here, as does “a dude with a hammer doth not a contractor make.” Remember: get multiple quotes, and determine the man (or the woman) for the job only after you’ve done the background checks.
6) Pay some up front
A deposit should never be more than 10% of the total cost of the job. Homeowners should never pay a contractor more than this before they’ve even stepped foot in their home. There are exceptions to the rule, if the job requires, for instance, pre-delivery of custom expensive materials prior to the job commencing.
7) Premium products are your choice
Not everyone wants a fancy toilet that could inflate the price of a job. The contractor should give you the option of choosing your materials. However, when it comes to insulation and other specialty materials, it’s wise to listen to the pros; certain materials perform better depending on the circumstance.
Follow those basic steps and you will get a qualified contractor, who will get you the results you’re looking for at the price point you have agreed upon! If you’re interested in renovating your home contact us for a free, no obligation quote, today.