In order to get the most out of your home remodeling project, it’s a good idea to know how to work with your home remodeling contractor. It’s the contractor’s job to do the work, and while ideally the work will be done to your standards, there’s no way of guaranteeing this if you leave things up to the contractor. It’s your job to make sure that the work is done correctly and meets the requirements you laid out in the contract. Keep the following tips in mind when working with a home remodeling contractor.
Tips for Working with a Home Remodeling Contractor
When working out the contract, a contractor will use an allowance if you haven’t made a decision as to a specific material or component required by the project. “For example, if you haven’t chosen the plumbing hardware for your new master suite, the contractor will put an allowance number in the budget as a placeholder.” When the contractor does get what they need, it could be much lower than the allowance, allowing them to pocket the difference. Work out the specifics ahead of time and avoid resorting to allowances.
Miscommunications or lack of communication often results in problems and errors being made. Talk to your contractor about the best way to communicate, whether its on-site before the work begins or via phone or text message. Communicate at least once a day to get a progress report and coordinate with the upcoming schedule. Make sure you’re getting what you want, but make sure to be friendly too. Contractors enjoy working with people who are easy to get along with. Make sure they feel welcome in your home.
Every day, record the progress of the project in a journal. You can also write down any questions you have that you want to ask later. Date your entries for reference.
In addition to a project journal, you should also specify in the contract that all bids for changes in the project must be submitted in writing and approved by you before the changes are made.
Check the Work
After the contractor has finished for the day, check the work they’ve done and record it in your journal. Look for any quality issues, and things you can compare against written documentation you have. For example, you can compare model numbers on appliances against the contractor’s bid to make sure you’re getting what you asked for.
Pay Only for Work that is Completed
Upfront payments are a part of the process, but they shouldn’t be more than 10%. Specify in the contract the amount and increments in which you’ll pay, and when they’re due. When a due date comes, pay promptly (assuming the work has been done).
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