Renovation projects involve a lot of work, and the chances are that you will need to hire some contractors to either do the work for you or to at least help you with the more technical renovations. Jobs that involve electricity and water are usually best left to the professionals but how do you go about hiring the best contractor for the job? Here is a guide to help you get the best contractor for your renovation project.
Decide What You Want the End Result to Look Like
Decide what you want to achieve. You might want to build outwards so that you extend the floor space of your home or add a bathroom or a couple of bedrooms. Once you know what you want to be done in your home, you have a great starting point. You can change your mind later on if you have decided you would prefer something else.
Decide How Much Work You Will Do Yourself
Some people find it best to let contractors carry out all their renovation work. That way they know it is done to an excellent standard. However, this can be expensive and for many people getting stuck in and doing at least part of the work themselves is all part of the fun.
It is best to leave the electrical work to the experts as you could get a nasty electric shock or even burn your newly renovated home down if you try to do this work yourself. Unless you have a good idea of what you are doing, a lot of the plumbing work is also best left to an expert. Leaking water can cause a lot more damage than you might realize. If it gushes out it can cause untold damage to carpets, flooring, and furniture and even if it drips slowly, it could still cost you a new floor or ceiling.
Some of the work is quite easy to do yourself. For example, many people like to paint the walls themselves and lay their own carpets as this makes them feel they have been hands-on with the renovation project. If gardening is part of your project this can be a great place to get stuck in and get growing.
Once you have decided how much work you are going to do for yourself you know what will be left for the contractors to do. Now all you have to do is hire them.
There are so many contractors around it can be difficult to know where to start. However, if any of your friends and family have had similar work done you can ask for recommendations. You may even be able to view the work that was done so you know how good the contractor’s standards are likely to be.
Make sure that the contractors have had experience in the type of renovation you are looking to do and hire someone you can trust. It can work out well to hire a larger company that has expertise in several areas. That way they can liaise with each other, and they are not waiting around for the next job to be finished. They will probably have experience of working together as part of a team before which will make the work run more smoothly. For example, Beattie Home Services employs experts in plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning who work together to produce a seamless result.
It is best to get three quotes for each job you need to be done. Many people make the mistake of opting for the cheapest, but they aren’t always the best. You have to pay for expertise and experience so bear this in mind when choosing your contractor.
It is a good idea to ask for references as well as quotes. That way you can see what people who have used them in the past have to say about their work. If the contractor refuses to give you references or uses stalling techniques, you should see this as a red flag and give the work to someone else.
While you are searching for your quotes bear in mind how easy it is to communicate with your prospective contractors. Do they pick up the phone the first time it rings, or does it take them three days to reply to an e-mail? The way they communicate with you before they get the job is a likely indication of how good they will be once they have started. Remember, before you offer them the work, they should be trying their best to impress you so if they are difficult to communicate with at that point, they may be even worse once they are hired.
You will probably have an idea in mind of when you want the work to start and finish. It would be nice if everything could fall into place immediately, but you should keep in mind that a good contractor will probably be booked up for a while. They should still be able to give you a good idea of when they can start the job and how long it should take. Setting expectations is important and if the contractor can’t give you these start and finish times, you should look elsewhere, or they could keep you hanging on for months.
Draw Up a Contract
A contract will let both you and the contractor know where they stand. You should include the price and the installments they will be paid in. Many contractors ask for some of the money upfront to pay for costs and materials so don’t be alarmed if they do this. Put the start and finish dates in the contract and anything else you think is important.
Supervise the Work Yourself
The process of supervising the work yourself may seem daunting but it is the best way of making sure that the work gets done on time to a standard you are happy with and there are no major hiccups. If you supervise the work, you will know as soon as anything goes wrong, and you can help to rectify the issue before it gets too big and the contractors are forced to down tools.
If you really don’t fancy the stress of having to supervise the renovations yourself, you could always hire a project manager to do the job for you. This will cost you a lot more money, but it will save you some time and hassle.
Once you have chosen a contractor and hired them you need to make sure you have the money to pay them on the required dates. If you already have the money in your bank account, check if you need to give notice to draw it out. Some that pay higher interest rates ask for a month or more and you will upset your contractor if you don’t check this and leave them waiting for payment.
If you don’t have the money readily available, now is a suitable time to take out a loan, check the limit on your credit card, or apply to the bank of mom and dad.
Hopefully, this guide has shown you how to get the best contractor for your renovation project, so you know what to do when it comes to hiring help. Now all you need to do is get started.