Have you ever heard of the expression, “You get what you pay for?” With the proper planning and a knowledgeable contractor, you can be assured of a job well done at a reasonable cost. Your dream kitchen is within your reach! Your new family room awaits! Follow the guidance of experienced contractors:
1. Connect with your contractor. The right person for the job will be easy to talk to.
2. Do you see eye to eye? Be sure to hire a contractor that understands your goals and has experience in the type of work you are looking for.
3. Understand the price of the materials may reflect its quality. Ask your contractor for their recommendations. Is it worth it to cut corners if it’s a temporary fix?
4. The lowest bid may not be the best candidate. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job. A low bid may indicate a contractor that uses subpar materials or is desperate for work. The more accurate bid is likely somewhere in the middle.
5. Get involved by keeping the lines of communication open. Insist on regular contact by email, phone or text and a weekly face-to-face update from the foreman.
6. Get it in writing. Your contract should detail time frames, the total cost, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, project description, names of parties involved, and how to handle additional costs if necessary.
7. Be cautious if you are not given a timeline for the job to be completed. This may indicate the contractor has several current jobs and may not complete your job timely.
8. Honor your contract. Hiring a member of the work crew to do after hours work at a reduced rate will strain the relationship between you and your contractor.
9. Record key contact information for every individual working on your project.
10. Be upfront about your budget and review the cost details listed in your contract.
11. Is your contractor insured? This is a must; otherwise you are liable if a member of the work crew becomes injured on the job.
12. Educate yourself on what permits are required and what regulations need to be followed. Your contractor or architect should be responsible for applying for and acquiring all necessary permits.
13. Ask for information about what’s going on behind the scenes. The cost of the job will increase if the contractor is surprised by outdated wiring or other concealed budget-busters.
14. Organize your job-related documents (such as the contract and contact information) in a readily accessible file.
15. Consider your budget and if necessary, break the project down into mini-projects. Although this may increase the total cost due to repetitious start-up expenses and inflation, it may be a better option for you to spread the cost out over time.
16. Make space for the work crew to keep their supplies and equipment on site. The more organized and accessible these items are, the faster they will be able to do their work.
17. Allow the work crew to manage their daily job, however meet with the foreman once a week to discuss the status of the project.
Excerpt from Re-Builders’ newsletter, Quarter 3 2015. If you are in the Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand area and would like a FREE copy of our most recent newsletter with more tips and games, please click on “Contact Us” on our website and fill out the form. We will be glad to mail or e-mail you a copy.