When you talk to customers, you’ll notice the level of fear people have when it comes to contractors. People are showing their hesitance in hiring remodeling contractors for their homes. Contractor nightmares are commonplace, with 85% of Americans considering remodeling to be a stressful event. If you want to remodel, you need to know how to avoid contractor nightmares. How do you do it?
In this guide, we give you 7 tips on how to avoid nightmares with your remodeling contractor. These tips can help you when you are finding a contractor for your dream remodel.
Ask For Contractor References
Before you even hire a contractor, you need to check for the references that your contractor has. Many contracting companies will have a portfolio, complete with people that you can check back. It’s crucial to talk to their references and try to get a pulse of how they work.
Most contractors will be more than happy to provide you with the references that you need to confirm. Even then, getting references are only as valuable as using them. You would want to give these references a call. Ask the references for the remodel contractors’ demeanor at work. Ask how the project went and how happy they are with the work. Ask if there are any problems that showed up during and after the work the contractors did. Asking contractor questions can be crucial in rooting out the good contractors from the bad.
Be Decisive In What You Want From Remodel Contractors
You need to be decisive when it comes to your remodel. Whether you’re pushing to remodel, renovate or upgrade your home, you need to know what you want. Being indecisive can cost you money in the long run. Make sure you have the color that you want. What kinds of countertop material do you want for your kitchen? What styles do you want in your window replacements? You need to make up your mind before finding a contractor. This will help you make sure that you get what you want in the deal. Greenlighting one element and then deciding you don’t want it will not get your money back.
Ask For Recommendations
If you have to, it’s best to work with remodel contractors that people close to you used before. Whether it’s with family or friends, you want recommendations. You need to check if they have the proper licenses and if they have a clean legal record.
Check the Better Business Bureau for any history of bad conduct or active complaints. Potential red flags are always breaching of contract or sub-cons with asking for heavy labor fees. Your aim is to make sure your contractor history is as clean as possible.
Enforce A Strike Out Rule
If you want to avoid nightmare contractors giving you problems, a good way to do so is to have strike rules. A strike rule is always crucial when working with remodel contractors as it gives you markers. If the contractors strike-out with you, it’s best to sever ties with them as soon as possible.
Some of the most basic strikes include contractors who don’t show up on time. Legit contractors understand that you value your time. If they can’t get their schedules correct, that’s a big problem. If the contractor also gave quotes that are too cheap and far from other quotes, that’s a bad sign. Extreme low prices can be a sign of low experience or low-quality work.
Put Everything In Legal Writing
After finding a contractor, the most vital piece of the process in the entire deal is to make a contract. That sounds like something you can expect out of any deals, but there are people who don’t know. You would want a contract that creates a legal bond between you and their company.
In the legal writing that you do with your contractors, you want to make sure you are descriptive. What needs to happen and what they will do should be clear in writing. If you can, you want to provide images and plans of elements that will go to specific points in your home.
You should operate under the assumption that your contractor will cheat you in anything not in the contract. Almost 99% of all remodel contractors are honest and diligent workers. You will still stumble upon the 1%, however, and that can pose a problem for your business. If you don’t put details in writing, people will remember it different and you can’t rely on memory in settlements.
Set Your Renovation Project Budgets
You may think that renovation project budgets may not play into your relationship with contractors, but it does. It’s crucial that you know how much you can afford and that you communicate it. Hiring a contractor on the pretense that you can pay money you don’t have can be a problem.
Make sure there is a clear understanding between both parties for both costs and budget. This will work for you in the long run, as proper budgets can give you proper wiggle room. This will also give your remodel contractor a good baseline on what you can afford. How far you’re willing to go on your budget can be a good way to enforce a good working relationship.
Communicate After Finding a Contractor
If you see a problem with your contractor, talk to them as soon as possible. Make sure you know every decision they do and how it affects the scope of the work. Even if you do everything right within the project, there might be miscommunications along the way. Communicate on a regular basis. Ask any questions you might have. Put all you need to ask on a memo if you have to. Consistent communication can help tell that both sides are serious about the project. Sort out issues while they’re small or risk them growing and snowballing on you.
Avoid Nightmares When You Hire A Contractor
When you hire a contractor, avoiding nightmare situations is always the goal. Vigilance in the vetting process and proper communication can weed out bad candidates. Make sure to put everything in writing so you have ways to go after them in the process. If you’re looking for other tips and tricks for your home, check out our other guides. We have many different walkthroughs you can use to help you.