10 Commandments Hiring A Contractor
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 by Prarthana Sharma
1. Have a plan, know what you want to accomplish before you call anyone. Remember that you are in the driver's seat.
2. Get more than one opinion. Just because a friend or family refers someone does not mean they are any good.
3. Have a budget in mind. Don't be afraid to readjust your budget, you may have over or under shot the figure in your head. If you are not familiar with the industry, you may not have a good basis for your budget. Your budget should not reflect what you can afford to spend; the last thing you want is to get a lesser job done because your budget is not right. You may be better off not doing anything. Research the kind of work you are interesting in doing.
4. Pick a good contractor. Don’t be afraid to change your mind after doing research. Have you found a contractor? How much are you willing to pay? Check with the Better Business Bureau. Get referrals. Always do some research on the internet or in other form. See if you can visit one of the job sites of a potential contactor. Will you know ahead of time if there will be subcontractors being used? How long have they been around, are they local? Are their insurance, workers comp, and general liability up to date?
5. Check out the products being used. Check out the materials being used. Remember you have to live with your decision. Your contractor doesn’t. You only get one shot at it.
6. Be very thorough on the contract. Remember if it is not on the contract it is not getting done. No work should be started without a contract. What happens if there are changes? Have a clear understanding of all payments, also when and how it should made. Do you have a copy of the written warranty? Who gets permits? Clean up and debris removal, will they take care of that? Start date, and completion date. Unforeseen things that might happen, is there a plan B? Get a good diagram of what is being done and make no assumptions.
7. Be careful with deposits. You may never see that money again. Some industries require deposits, like special order windows. If there is no special order materials then why give a deposit. Can that company afford to do the job? Beware of scam.
8. How many jobs does the company have going at one time? There is nothing more frustrating than having a company start your job and then you don't see them for a week while they use your deposit money to go finish someone else's job.
9. Get the work done. Review work with foreman; ask questions as work is getting done, if conflicts arise this is the time to deal with it. Take photos as job is being done. Always have proof if need in the future. Keep good records and talk to contractor.
10. Report on the results. If the experience was bad, try to resolve it with the company first. If you can't do that, and you have given proper time, take action, be a good consumer. If they did a great job, report that, tell everyone, that company deserves an endorsement from you.