How to Avoid the Home Contractor Blues

How to Avoid the Home Contractor Blues
  • Opening Intro -

    You're about set to undertake a major home renovation project with a loan secured from your bank and plans drawn up by an architect.

    The next step you take is an all-important one, a move where you'll hire a home contractor to oversee the entire job.

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Hire the right person and your plans will come to fruition as expected. Hire the wrong person and your job could be bogged down with trouble, perhaps costing you much time and money.

Selection Tips

Hiring a home contractor takes time, but will go far in helping you to make the right choice. Read on for some tips on how to avoid the home contractor blues.

1. Friends and family — People you know are the best places to go for recommendations on a home contractor. Especially anyone who has successfully had renovation work done within the past year or two. If you can’t trust what those closest to you have to say, whom can you trust?

2. Create a list — With recommendations in hand, you should have at least three contractors who you can call for more information. These people should be comfortable giving to you recent references of customers as well as financial references. If the contractor can provide references and is able to handle your job, then keep this person on your list of possible contractors.

3. Verify references — Contact each contractor’s references and ask some important questions. Were you satisfied with the job? Would you use this person again? Was the job finished on time? Was it completed within the amount budgeted? Carefully listen to the person’s comments to detect dissatisfaction, but dismiss complaints if they weren’t directly related to the job.

4. Ask for bids — With copies of your plans in hand have each contractor come to you home to meet with you in person. Discuss your plans and if you believe that the contractor can handle the job, then ask for a bid. Set a date when bids are due. Include a desired payment schedule to show how funds should be paid.

5. Review bids — Once the bids have been received, then you will decide whom to hire. This can mean holding off on a decision if the number of bids received was not sufficient or some clarification is needed by a contractor regarding materials used. Don’t let cost alone dictate the job as you want to work with a contractor who communicates well and has a stellar reputation.

6. Sign a contract — With a contractor chosen, you’ll need to sign a contract. That contract is, of course, in writing and clearly outlines the scope of the job, payments to be made and more. Keep a copy of the contract with you and return one copy to the contractor.

7. Start the work — On the first day that the work begins, confirm with the contractor that his insurance and licenses are valid. Insist that every person who sets foot on your property is insured. Discuss with your home insurer your current policy and whether it covers damage or the injury of a person who is working on your premises.

Contractor Communication

At any time in the project if you believe that there is a problem, your home contractor should be contacted. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you stay on top of things and ensure that your job is done right and on time.

See AlsoSteps To Finding A Quality Home Contractor

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Categories: Home Interior

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".