When it comes to selecting the right contractor for your next new home, remodel, or reconstruction project, it’s best to know what factors go into making a choice that is best for you and your needs. Going off of price alone is a good way to end up with a failing project. This can also lead to higher costs down the road if another contractor is needed. With the right kind of planning and contractor team, you can rest easy know a job will be professionally done, at a reasonable rate. Any kind of contracting work on your home can be a fun experience for both you, and your family. It is one thing to make sure you choose the right contractor for your project, but you also want to be comfortable working with them!
Here are our top 10 tips when it comes to getting the most of working with a contractor on your next project.
- Communicate with your contractor
Knowing you’re in good hands means making sure you feel comfortable talking about your needs with your contractor. Communication is key for all projects, so ask to keep in contact via email, phone, and maybe even text messages! Allow the crew to do their daily jobs without trying to micro-manage, but set up weekly meetings with the job lead so that all of your needs are met and questions answered.
- Is your contractor experienced in this project?
During the communication phase, it’s best to talk about the contractors’ project history and determine if they have the required experience dealing with projects similar to yours. Some good questions to ask are: How long have they been in business? How many projects have they worked on? Do they have the proper insurance documentation? How many people in their crew will be on-site day-to-day?
- The project budget
Asking for recommendations on how the project should move forward from an experienced contractor is a good idea. Keep in mind, the lowest bid isn’t always necessarily the best. And the most expensive doesn’t automatically mean all of your needs will be met. Request a written description of the needed materials for the job. A lower bid could mean your contractor is cutting corners, or using sub-par materials, or is even desperate for work! Trying to focus on making sure expectations are clearly set will help your keep your mind, and budget, at ease.
- Get the contract in writing
Stick to the plan! Get the entire project scope and contract in writing. This means you will easily have access to: the total project budget, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, detailed time frames, names of parties involved, project description, and how to deal with any unforeseen opportunities which could incur additional costs. If you aren’t given a timeline for the project, this may mean the contractor has several jobs in process and may not be able to finish your project in a timely manner. Keep all of the information together, including receipts and contact information for everyone working on your project, in one place.
- Be real about your budget
If you can’t afford it, the contractor won’t build it. You can often save money by doing some tasks on your own, like cleaning and painting. The project can be broken down into phases so that the scope of the job can be assessed more closely. Don’t focus on cutting corners, focus on maintaining honesty in your communication so that the contractor can do the best job possible with the budget you have.
- Understand the basics
Knowing which permits and regulations need to be met to fulfill your project is a must. Your contractor should be responsible for applying for, and acquiring all of the necessary permits. Don’t sit idly by though, feel free to ask for information. Understand what’s happening behind the scenes. The project budget can increase if your contractor is surprised by outdated wiring or other similar issues.
- Get ready!
Before any project begins, make sure you, your family, and your home are prepared. This means having an area where workers can safely stash their equipment and project materials. Also, keep in mind the entry point to the job so it’s clear and ready for lots of heavy foot-traffic. If needed, figure out these questions ahead of time: Know which colors and finishes you prefer for your painter, review samples to make sure you’re satisfied, remove your valuables or easily damaged items, have someone on the crew to act as the “key contact” between the contractor and your family. This will help keep communication clean and clear to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Don’t tear it down yet
Don’t get too eager and start knocking down walls, or tearing out fixtures, until all of the necessary project equipment and materials have arrived. This could be anything from waiting for the windows, doors, appliances, or special tools. Patience is key during any sort of new home build, home remodel, or reconstruction job.
- Stay focused on the end result
Home construction projects can potentially place a level of stress on you and your family. Staying positive and focused on the details at hand will help alleviate issues. With the completed project always in the back of your mind, you will see your project take shape as the contractor’s team works day-to-day. Don’t be quick to over-analyze, and use your lines of communication to bring any problems you see to the surface so the contracting team is aware and can meet your expectations.
- Double-check the scope and issues resolved before signing off
Set up a time for a final walk-through with your contractor. Meet with them and bring along something to document the walk-through. You will be able to make notes of any tasks that need to be completed. Request an affidavit of final release, or a lien wavier once the job is completed and the final payment is made. This will clear you of any claims going forward by the third-party.
Are you interested in requesting a quote from our experienced reconstruction and build team? Encore RRC builds beautiful homes with job quality and project haste at the top of our priority list. Let us take your dream project and make it a reality today!