On average, homeowners spend $60,400 a year on home renovations.
But how do you go about hiring contractors? You use a hiring a contractor checklist to make sure your project is in good hands.
Read on for the four things you must keep in mind before you hire a contractor.
Is the Contractor Insured, Licensed, and Bonded?
Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that contractors have the required paperwork. But that isn’t the case all the time.
If your contractor manages sub-contractors or has employees, he or she should have sufficient general liability and workers compensation insurance.
Do your research. Check the Contractors License Board in your State to make sure that the contractor you choose has a current license.
Get Recommendations Or Ask For References
The best way to hire a contractor is to use someone that your friends, family or neighbors suggest. That way you choose someone whose work has been vetted by someone you trust.
If you can’t get referrals from your contacts, don’t hire a contractor without asking for three references.
If your contractor can’t give you the name and phone number of at least three past clients, that is a red flag.
Get Contractor Quotes In Writing
When you call around, don’t accept verbal estimates. These aren’t legally binding.
Phrases like “it’ll run you around…” are a no-go.
Ask for a detailed quote with itemized pricing on each part of the project.
A contractor may not be able to give you a definite quote until the work gets started. In this case, reputable contractors often write in project over-run clause into their quote. Basically, this clause states that the estimated cost won’t go by more than 15% of the given price.
If along the way, you make changes to the project, get those in writing as well. So if you decide to add pendant lights over your kitchen island, you have proof that you agreed to that work.
While you get bids from contractors, it may be helpful to put all the information together in one Excel spreadsheet. This can help you stay organized and keep track of everything.
Once you’ve found the perfect contract with a fair price, don’t hire him or her just yet.
Find Out How Many Projects Will be Happening at the Same Time
Projects are messy, loud work. You want them done as quickly as possible. So before you hire a contractor, make sure to ask how many other projects this contractor will have on the go at once.
If your contractor has a large staff, there may be multiple projects on at once. In this case, ask how often a superintendent will visit your job site.
Ideally, your contractor or a superintendent will stop by at your site once a day. This way, the contractor can make sure the work is progressing well and the workers are doing what they are supposed to.
You want to hire a contractor that can manage his crew and his time well.
Hiring a Contractor Checklist
There you have it. Four things that must be on your hiring a contractor checklist.
If you do your research and thoroughly look into contractors before you hire them, you will have a much better experience and better end results.
Now, learn what to look for when hiring an electrician.