Home renovations can be one of the biggest single expenses most people ever take on, and the success of your project depends a lot on the contractor you choose. The crazy thing is, people often put more thought into selecting a shirt than they do to finding a contractor worthy of trust. So how can you hire intelligently? A little work ahead of time makes all the difference.
Check Out References
The results of every contractor’s work are plain to see, but only if you look. Ask for at least three references from every contractor you are considering hiring, then follow up with questions to these previous clients before making a final choice. Was the project on time? On budget? Is the homeowner pleased with the results? How responsive was the contractor to call-backs? Never hire simply because you ‘feel good’ about someone – do the work needed to check their past performance. This is the best indication of how they will do on your project.
Get It In Writing
Would you buy a car based on a verbal agreement, with no written warranty or ownership papers? Of course not. So don’t invest in a home renovation without getting everything in writing. A written contract should ensure that payments were tied to reasonable milestones of completion. It should specify what fittings and fixtures will be used on the project. And it should clearly state what is warranted and for how long. These are just some of the things that need to be laid out in black and white before agree to anything.
Be a Good Client
As a homeowner, you can make a positive contribution to the success of your project. Avoid changing your mind about details in the middle of the project, for example. Even if you do agree to pay extra for change orders, no diligent contractor likes to tear out something they’ve already built. And understand that if you do find a change necessary, you must be prepared to pay extra for it.
Take the guesswork out of hiring a contractor. The Canadian Home Builder’s Association offers Canada’s best free and unbiased information on how to hire a contractor the smart and safe way. Visit www.getitinwriting.ca