How to make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page

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Home improvement and remodeling is an expensive proposition, so it’s vitally important to make sure you hire remodeling professionals that are right for you. Top things to consider before hiring a contractor include the following.

*Get multiple estimates. There are a host of contractors out there, and they all have their own areas of expertise and company histories. You need to make sure you know what is reasonable, or what is too good to be true. Shop around. You can never get too many estimates.

*Make sure the estimates are in writing and contain all the pertinent details of the quote being given. If an estimate is verbal, it’s subject to interpretation, and you won’t have the proof you need should a conflict later arise.

*Make sure your estimates are for the same thing. In other words, make your own list of materials and job details to use as a starting guide when you meet with the potential contractors. It’s very important that each of the contractors are quoting the same materials and job elements. Estimates can’t be accurate indicators of pricing if one remodeling professional is quoting oak and another plywood.

*Check the contractor’s license, as well as those of any sub-contractors being used on your home improvement or remodeling job.

*Get references and check them out. Ask about issues or problems that may have occurred on their job. Ask if the job came in on or time, or if there were delays. Inquire if they are being paid or compensated for their referral. You might also want to ask about the workers and how they acted around the home, especially if you have children and/or pets.

*Go online and research the contractors. There are many forums out there as well as remodeling and home improvement social networks that you can go to for opinions and experiences. They may also put you in touch with another contractor better suited for the job being done.

*Don’t forget the incidentals, like daily cleanup requirements. This can be very important if you have pets and are concerned about materials and remnants that could possibly be left out and cause harm to your pets.

*Make sure you’re on the same page with the contractor when discussing the remodeling work to be done, and don’t make assumptions about the quality of the materials being used or the furniture and fixtures that are being replaced. Be crystal clear on your expectations.

*When you’ve made your decision, get it all in writing. If the contractor has agreed to special conditions, such as cleanup duties, it should be included in the written contract.

Remodeling and home improvement projects are worthy of the time investment it takes to make sure that the contractors hired are right for your job. It’s vitally important to check out the remodeling professionals that you are considering as much as possible. Never ever assume. Licensing boards and social networks are a great way to get advice and compare the information you’ve collected. Finally, no matter what, get it in writing.

These are the keys to making sure you’ve hired remodeling professionals that will give you the result you’re looking for, one that will make you want to go back and hire them again for your next home improvement or remodeling job.


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