When looking for a contractor for home improvements, going by the lowest price is not often the best strategy. The project may not end up the way you want or it may fail entirely. In fact, the costs of the project combined with corrections can end up being more than investing wisely in the first place. Here are five tips for finding the right home contractor for your project.
1. Get to Know the Contractor
Communicating with your contractor will help all parties understand every aspect of the project. Whether by phone, email, or text, communication should be open, and regular face-to-face meetings help as well. Ask the contractor for recommendations and have them provide you with a list and description of all the materials needed. Even ask if it’s worth cutting corners; an experienced individual should be up front about what’s better for the long term.
2. Obtain a Written Contract
Without a written timeline, your contractor isn’t bound to a completion date. Contractors often have multiple jobs, so you may end up pushing back the date of completion if a contract isn’t written and signed. All time frames, costs, descriptions, names of people involved in the project, and the contractor’s license number should be included. All documentation including contracts, payments, and receipts should be kept in a single, safe location.
3. Openly Discuss Your Budget
Tell the contractor what your budget is. They may provide invaluable advice, such as breaking down the project into phases. It can cost you more in the long run, but spreading the costs out is often more practical. Ask the professional for their input; some may not mind because spreading out a project lead to more work for the contractor.
4. Learn about all the Requirements
Contractors are often the ones responsible for applying for permits, and acquiring all the ones that are necessary in your local area. It also helps for you to know about local permits and regulations. You don’t want to violate any of these when remodeling, because it will increase the costs substantially. Always ask the contractor about project requirements, and be thorough as concealed problems such as bad wiring can cause the project to exceed your budget.
5. Offer to Pay in Cash
Many contractors aren’t shy about accepting credit payments, but you can save a bundle by offering to pay them in cash. Contractors may offer a lower price, trimming the total by as much as 10 percent. Some allow for installments, particularly with small jobs, and escrow account deposits for larger projects. Paying in cash may also open the door to free extras such as upgraded cabinets or an additional room painted.
In addition, add financial penalties for going over the expected finish date. It doesn’t matter what the project scope is. Motivating the contractor not to hesitate can help stay on budget and on schedule. This is yet another factor to consider when negotiating with a contractor and any expert that you can depend on from BNW Builders. In general, the more you know, the more successful the outcome will be.