A contractor’s skills, experience and qualifications are the most important factors in the success of your home improvement project, but the relationship you have throughout the process matters as well. What factors count in a good relationship with your home improvement contractor? Great communication, a detailed contract and reasonable expectations are some of the keys.
Some minor issues are bound to arise during a remodeling or home improvement project, such as delays caused by weather or the availability of materials. Larger problems, such as those that have a substantial impact on your budget, may occur as well. In any case, there are ways you can better manage or even avoid some issues with the following tips.
Know what you want and what you want to spend
Determine in advance what you want, from the styles you prefer to details about all materials, from flooring to plumbing fixtures. Be ready to communicate what you want to your contractor. It helps to pick out major items such as plumbing, appliances, and light fixtures early in the process.
Select an experienced contractor, one with the proper licensing and insurance. Check out references before you hire, so you’ll have others’ experiences to let you know what to expect. The time you spend checking our potential contractors now will save you time, and possibly money, down the line.
Get everything in writing
Make sure that you have a detailed written contract, and that it contains elements such as scheduling, materials, milestone dates and a final completion date. Read your contract carefully to prevent unwanted surprises, and make sure you fully understand and agree with its terms. For example, make sure you’ve indicated that any subcontractors should be licensed. Why? Because this means experienced professionals will be doing the work on your property, and any potential problems caused by hiring unlicensed workers will be avoided.
Don’t place unreasonable expectations on your contractor. Some problems, like the weather, simply can’t be avoided. Be sure to build in extra time for permit approvals, if necessary.
Accountability is key
Although your expectations should be reasonable, don’t be afraid to hold your contractor accountable for his or her actions. Speak up whenever you have concerns. It’s a good idea to determine in advance how you and your contractor will handle issues when they arise and have this process spelled out in your contract.
Clear and frequent communication is essential. Meet with your contractor regularly to review progress on the project and re-emphasize expectations as you move forward.
Start with a qualified contractor
You can minimize the potential for problems to arise by taking the time to select an experienced, qualified home improvement contractor for your job. At Contractor Connection, we’ve taken all of the guesswork and legwork out of choosing a contractor with our free matching service. Every contractor in our network has already been vetted, so you know you’re working with a contractor who has the proper licensing, insurance and credentials to do the job right. For a free, no-obligation estimate on your home improvement project, simply enter your ZIP code above to get started.Categories: General Contractors, Home Remodeling Renovation, Uncategorized