If you're going to hire a contractor for any home renovations, always do your research. Online resources such as TrustedPros.ca offer plenty of free advice on what to look for in a contractor and things you can do to protect yourself from contractor fraud. You can also find a comprehensive list of highly rated and recommended contractors for all your home improvement projects, so it shouldn't be a problem finding a trusted professional for your home renovation.
Here is a list of ten things that will make your project go smoothly when working with a renovation contractor.
1. Make a List
Decide what you like and dislike in your home. Incorporate everyone who lives with you when compiling this list. Write down what activities you do in various room and what you'd like to add to these rooms so you can discuss these things with your contractor.
2. Plan the Work Schedule
Home renovation work can be very disrupting so be sure to plan ahead to minimize the inconveniences that will inevitably happen. Dust, noise, personal intrusion are all factors that will feature in your home renovation so try to find out when your contractor will be working and devise a schedule around the work to allow for a few dinners out to give you a welcome and needed break from the work going on at your home.
It cannot be stressed enough that communication is key when working with a contractor. TrustedPros.ca highly advises that you regularly and clearly communicate with your contractor to avoid confusion and potential problems down the road. Everything must be clearly stated and understood from designs to work, never be afraid to ask any questions. Always be accessible to your contractor should he need to contact you for any decision making during the project.
Plan your budget carefully before you start on your project, and always make allowances for extras because you will most probably end up spending more than you planned for. Discuss total costs for materials and work with your contractor to get a good idea of what to expect in terms of costs.
5. Due Diligence
TrustedPros.ca highly recommends that you do a thorough background check on a contractor before hiring. Go through their reviews and ratings on TrustedPros and look at their TrustScoreTM, a proprietary contractor rating matrix based on the contractor's past performance, genuineness of their reviews, complaints from suppliers or employees, and several other factors. You should check at the Better Business Bureau if any complaints have been lodged against the company or the contractor. Ask for previous customer lists and try to find out if past customers have been satisfied with the work. Your chosen contractor should be easy to get a hold of by cell phone and email.
6. Draw up a Watertight Contract
In order to protect yourself from potential problems, HandyCanadian.com stresses the importance of drawing up a clear, unambiguous and comprehensive contract. Start and finish dates for the work should be clearly included in your contract. Who is responsible for what should also be stated, for example who will clean up the site during and after work. All materials and costs should also be in the contract. If your contractor asks for more than 20 percent of the total job costs as a deposit this should raise red flags. TrustedPros.ca recommends that always withhold some payment to protect yourself from any liabilities should anything go wrong. Always pay with checks and ask for a receipt.
7. Keep a Log
Keep a record of dates and things you have specified to keep up with scheduled work. This can help keep you more organized and in control.
8. Visiting Showrooms
Make sure you visit showrooms alone and with your contractor because when you go alone your creative juices will get flowing and you can get great ideas, but make sure you take your contractor on a subsequent trip to the showroom to give you realistic costs for your project and practical solutions suitable for your home and budget.
9. Be Accessible
Always be available for your contractor, especially during installations because your contractor may have to consult with you on certain things such as product installation or missing parts that will delay the work.
Even though you've planned and researched everything, unexpected events might call for change so be prepared to deal with any problems that may arise.Posted by: TrustedPros