Renovating your house can be great or it can be a trying experience. Often it will hinge on whether you hire the right professional to do the job for you or if you try to cut corners and just seek the lowest price. Doing your homework can make all the difference in the world in the long run.
Meet with each of the contractors you are considering and work from a prepared set of questions and be sure and record the answers. Ideally video or audio record the interview as you may want to refer back to the interview later or have the video transcribed so you can study them. Make this a early step in the renovation process for obvious reasons and meet them on your terms, in other words in your home or office and be prepared, you may learn things from each that will make you a better buyer and help you make a better choice of contractor.
This process of choosing a contractor is no different from choosing any other vendor or even choosing a contractor to build house. It is all just scale. Recommendations are key to the process and verifying them is also important. One of the things to consider is how long the contractor has been in business but this factor has to be balanced with your impressions and also the references that he or she provide.
It is advisable that you get written proposals from at least 3-4 companies. It’s vital that each of the companies that are making proposals have as much detail as possible and that they all be given identical information. This is important so that their bids can be compared equally. Also don’t forget to ask for copies of workman’s compensation policies as well as general liability policies.
Often times a contractor that has an especially low bid might be cutting costs by not carrying proper insurance and this is an area you want to make sure about since you will be liable should he or she not have adequate insurance.
Every aspect of a contract between the contractor and yourself should be in writing. Including methods to handle change orders and warranty details. The contractor that does not want to work with a contract or wants to work for cash only might be a red flag for you to avoid. Be especially leery of the contractor who doesn’t want to do things in a legal way. There are industry standard contracts available to all contractors and whatever you sign should be reviewed by your lawyer.