In nearly every home renovation project, a contractor is needed to complete specific tasks or to take over a certain room within the house. The contractor has a big impact on the ultimate success of the renovation, as they often determine the time frame for the completed project, the budget, and even the look and feel of the individual room.
It's imperative that real estate investors and developers partner with the right renovation contractor for their projects. So, how can you find someone trustworthy and reliable who will hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions throughout the renovation project?
These are five steps that you can take in order to make sure that you have the right renovation contractor on your team:
Step 1: Ask for Recommendations from Your Professional Contacts
You likely have formed a professional network that includes reputable leaders in your industry. Before you search for contractors in the area on the Internet, ask for recommendations from others who have likely hired contractors in the past. This will allow you to get a list of trusted contractors to contact during your initial search. Social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook are a great place to tap into your network's knowledge and connections. Always plan to meet with at least three contractors before making your final selection for the project.
Step 2: Meet with Contractors In Person Before Hiring Them for the Job
Talking to contractors on the phone or getting initial information via e-mail is fine, but you need to meet face-to-face with all potential contractors before you make your final selection. Scheduling an in-person interview will allow you to learn many valuable facts about the contractor you are considering. Was the contractor prompt for your meeting? What was his or her demeanor? Did the contractor lay out an actionable plan for completing the job? Did you have good chemistry? Getting along, communicating well, and sharing similar visions is important to getting a job done right. An in-person meeting will allow you to choose the contractor whose personal and professional qualities best meet the goals for your project.
Step 3: Verify that the Contractor will be Completing all Work
Most contractors who are bidding for a job will provide information about the work that is going to be completed, the deadlines for their project and the cost. However, many of these bids can be misleading and may not reveal that subcontractors will be hired to complete some of the work. Rather than risking shoddy work from a subcontractor you did not hire, it would be best to select a contractor whose own team is going to be completing all of the work. If the contractor must use subcontractors in some cases, ask to see examples of their work. Ask about the team the subcontractors use. Are they permanent or temporary employees? Is the subcontractor team insured and licensed?
Step 4: Check All Licenses, Insurance Policies and Published Complaints
Contractors need to be licensed and insured in order to complete their work safely and effectively, and you need to make sure that all contractors have up-to-date licenses, certifications and insurance policies. This is important for protecting your own investment and for moving your project forward in a timely manner. You also should look into any complaints that may have been filed about the contractor, and any previous litigation in which the contractor has been involved. It is critical that you have all the facts before you make the final selection.
Step 5: Create a Written Contract that Outlines Price, Schedule and Other Details
Once you have decided on a renovation contractor for your building project, you need to create a written contract that will be signed by the contractor at the time of the hiring. The contract should be very specific, and should:
- Outline the work that will be done.
- Identify who will be completing the work.
- Establish deadlines for all of the work.
- Clearly mark pricing for each portion of the project.
- Finalize a method of payment and the due date for the payment.
No renovation contractor should be hired without completing and signing a written agreement with you.
Finding the right renovation contractor will allow your projects to move forward with ease and precision. You will be glad that you invested your time, energy and resources into getting the right partner for your project, as the end result will almost certainly be better than you expected.