Building maintenance and repairs can get very expensive very fast. If you don’t know how to do the job, hiring a contractor is the way to go. You want to make sure you find someone with plenty of experience and knowledge about the job. The problem with that is, how do you know that someone is good at a job that you don’t know how to do? We’ve compiled a list of ways to find the best contractor for your needs.
Check out these helpful tips to find your perfect contractor for your multi-family unit.
Know what You Want
Every contractor is different, so some may specialize in certain projects. You don’t want a contractor that specializes in outdoor patios to redo your bathroom when you can get someone better. The easiest way to ensure you’re hiring the best contractor for the job would be to know exactly what you want done. This can help you not only find a contractor who specializes in what you need, but also helps you get a clear estimate on how much it may cost you. By being very specific about what you want done and what materials you want to use, a pricing estimate can be a lot more accurate and you won’t have to be surprised later.
Ask For References
Next up is asking around. The best source would be from someone you trust, so see if anyone you know has a reference or recommendation for a contractor. Someone in the building trades industry can be extremely helpful when looking. Even some hardware store workers may be able to help you with referrals. If you can’t find anyone to ask, you can always go online for answers and see who the best rated contractor in your area is. Just make sure that the reviews you read are legitimate and have actually used the contractor before.
It is also important to have options, so the next point is very important
Talk to at Least Three
You may love the first one you talk to, but you should go to at least three different contractors before you sign any contracts. While you may still stick with the first choice, this will help you learn more about what others are offering and help you negotiate what you want in your contract. Just make sure to ask the same questions and get a written bid from each professional so when you compare, you’re making sure you get the most for your dollar.
Right Contractor For the Project
While getting recommendations are helpful, don’t rely on them completely. Just because someone was good at repainting a neighboring businesses storefront, does not mean they’re good at redoing your entire office. Look for a company that regularly does the work you’re looking to get done. You don’t want them to use your project as a test job, you want them to have a lot of experience in whatever project you need them to do. Ask if you can see a portfolio of their work and make sure you like it before you sign any contracts.
This next one’s a necessity, so make sure to take some notes!
Permits are a Must
Almost all renovation projects are going to require some sort of permit. Many untrustworthy companies and even some licensed contractors will suggest forgoing the permits to save money, but that should be a huge red flag. Forgoing permits would violate the local ordinances and result in a fine you’d have to pay. It also means the work will not be inspected by the city or counsel to make sure it’s up to code. Work that doesn’t have a permit also becomes trouble when it’s time to sell. It’s part of a contractor’s job to handle permits, so if they ask you to obtain one you should be wary.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Contracts
A contract is inevitable when employing a contractor. If you don’t have a contract before they begin a project, maybe look into other contractors. This just makes sure that both you and the contractor you hire are on the same page about important, and maybe not so important, matters of the project. Some information to add to the contract would be to only pay around 10% of the total job amount as a down payment before the start of the project. On the same subject, you shouldn’t pay the full 100% until the job is complete. Lastly, don’t sign a contract for your entire renovation budget because odds are, the original estimate won’t be what you end up paying. There’s always surprises that add to the cost, so expect to pay 10% to 15% more than the original agreed upon price.
As much as it is important to have a contract, it is also important to negotiate. Read on to learn more about this important trick.
Negotiate Your Way to the Top
Another important part of the contract would be negotiating. This helps both you and the contractor know what’s expected of each other. Negotiation can involve many different factors of the project from the pricing to what bathrooms the workers will use while they’re doing the job. You want to find someone who you can trust and is understanding about certain aspects of the negotiation process that you are firm about.
Communication is Key
Finally make sure to communicate! Once you pick a contractor, you want to make sure that you keep in contact with them throughout the project. The easiest way to ensure your renovation is being done exactly how you want is to talk to the contractor every step of the way. Obviously, you want someone who doesn’t need to notify you about every little change being made, but you also want to make sure you stay in the loop about any big changes or mishaps that may occur. Talking to you contractor can help establish a trust and help them understand exactly what you’re looking for in your project.
Picking a contractor can be difficult when you don’t even know where to start, but with these helpful tips you’ll find your ideal contractor with ease! Just because doing the project can be hard and time consuming, doesn’t mean choosing the workers has to be. As long as you stick to the guides above, you’ll have your dream renovation in no time.
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