Before You Hire A Contractor

5 Things You Should Know

It is quite obvious that not all contractors are equal when you’re considering a commercial roofing, insulation, masonry or drywall and framing services. The success or failure of your home renovation or improvement project depends a lot on the contractor’s work portfolio. So what are the things one should know before hiring a contractor?

In today’s article, I’d like to shed some light on how to choose the right contractor for your project and what terms should be set to keep both of you accountable and happy.

Project Scope, Estimate & payment Schedule

Because you’re the client, you would be driving all the construction process. Therefore, you must be clear with yourself about project scope. You should think about your wants, the amenities you want, finishing styles, and other specific features. You can only be able to hire the right contractor when you’re clear about what you want out of the project.

Similarly when you’ve finalized the project scope; you should request estimates in writing from different contractors for the same job. These estimates are always free and would help you in accessing the approach of the contractor. Once the prospective contractor submits his estimate you can make sure it has all the materials, products, and cost of experts you desire for your project.

Before you sign the contract, both of you must agree on terms of the contract like payment schedule. The contractor should state clearly how frequently the payment would be issued.  

Investigate Licenses and Insurance

Even if you hire a professional contractor you still have to make sure that he gets the required permit before commencing the work. Therefore, in either situation, you’re vulnerable to face penalties. Always make sure that the contractor has secured a permit and his license is up-to-date along with insurance.

 Always remember that homeowner, who hires a contractor, assume all liability of the project. Even if a worker gets injured, they’ll come after you for damages.

A licensed contractor carries all the liabilities of insurance, workers compensation insurance and hence hiring a licensed contractor would protect you from any such liabilities.  

Budget Overruns and unforeseen costs

This is an important consideration which is often overlooked and can cause disputes while undertaking the work. Contractors only submit estimates that are likely to be different from actual cost in one way or the other. There may be scope variations, additional costs, and change orders which should be anticipated. So look if the contractor has change order policy and how it does tackle such unforeseen costs.   

Get everything in writing

You should be clear about the contract before signing and don’t rely on just simple handshake and promise to get the job done. So, get everything in writing and make sure all project materials and expectations are spelled out and signed in a written contract, including clean-up, debris removal, and site security.

Awards & Certificates

Some Contractors are generalists while others are specialists, so you must investigate a contractor’s work history and work habits. Some are suitable for general works while others are suitable for specialized works. The right type of Contractor for you must be the one who’ve already undertake a similar project with satisfactory performance. The awards and certificates are good indicators that signal professionalism and perfection of work. 

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