As a homeowner, there seem to be never ending home improvement projects. As you might have already heard of many nightmare projects, horrible contractors experiences from your friends, so what should you do when it comes to hiring a contractor for your home improvement project? Here are a few tips:
- Research and interview - You can never talk to enough people to learn about a contractor before deciding to hire him for your home improvement job. Don’t just rely on reviews online or fool by a very big ad in a magazine, you will be surprised on some of the reviews you can find from those “Big Ad” companies. By doing more research or talking to the contractor, you can get a sense of their experience level from their expert advice. Best of yet, talk to their references or past clients if needed.
- Sounds like a good deal - Don’t make a decision base on the quote only. You should always look at their break downs, many details could have been missed or not mentioned. You should always get 2-3 quotes if not more, depending on the complication level of the project, compare them side by side, and don’t be afraid to go back to the contractor and ask questions. A good contractor should never be too busy to talk to their customers.
- Get involved - Communicating at all times is very important. This is not HGTV, you can’t rely on the general project manger for everything. These project managers likely have 5+ projects going on at the same time, so you will have to make sure everything you have talked or you wish to have is there. You should visit the property while in progress every other day if not every day. Remember communicating with the project manager is the key.
- Make payments after milestones are completed - Once you have a mutual agreement on what to do receive and how much is the final price, it is common that contractor will require to have a deposit of 10%-20% to start with. However, this should never be 50%. Installments should also depends on milestone instead of timeline. Things can delay, and make payments upon each completed milestone is the incentive for them to keep on completing tasks on track, otherwise, they can drag forever.
- Finding a common ground - When it comes to conflicts, which can happen, you will then want to settle down in the best of both parties’ interest. Either with a discounted payment to end the relationship, or a full payment using alternative ways just to get the job done. Some sort of compromise is the key to resolve problems, because at the end of the day, you do want your project to be completed soon and not hold up by the court, unless it is a complete fraud, then it will depend on the state’s contractor recovery fund or homeowners recovery fund. However, spending more money on attorney fees is not always the best route to go.
Susanna Leung’s goal as a real estate professional with Haylen Group is to help her first-time home buying clients find that perfect home where their families can grow, thrive, and live their dreams in the United States. She applies her experience in remodeling, resource networking, negotiations, and advanced marketing to provide her clients with dedicated, full coverage service.