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Steps To Hiring A Contractor

1) Figure out your wants and needs. Your wants and needs are important to narrowing down a scope of work. Do you need your bathroom renovated? Do you want heated floors? A want and need list is a good starting point for you and your contractor. As prices start coming in you may need to reduce the scope of work by compromising on wants rather than the needs. On the other hand you may find that you can add to your wants if new options arise throughout the process.

2) Figure out your budget. This can be a touchy subject and you may feel the need to keep your cards close to your chest- don't. Communication is when taking on any project. Being upfront about your budget will allow your contractor to guide you in the right direction. With your budget in mind they will be able to narrow down the scope of work, finishes and engineer your project accordingly. A quality contractor will be able to give you a rough estimate rather quickly. It is a good idea to have a budget range before going further. Having a realistic budget is important to getting quality work done in your home.

3) Schedule a meeting. Whether the meeting is in person or over the phone, a contractor should be able to answer all of your questions and will be able to put your mind at ease with the proposed work. There are a lot of variables with any project, a thorough contractor will want to see the space before giving a price. They should take accurate measurements, photos, and listen to your wants and needs, this will help you get the most realistic price. It's crucial that you and your contractor communicate and get along well. Often contractors will be in your home for several hours a day and up to months at a time.

4) Get a plan. “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. A quality contractor will want or will provide a set of plans; these plans may be sketches, computer renderings or full blueprints. These plans are the road map to your project's success. Like most people, you may have a hard time envisioning what the finished product will look like, having a set of plans will help you understand what you are committing to. 5) Get a price. A quality contractor will put together a quote for your review. This quote should mention a few things, starting with the scope of work. The scope of work will consist of a breakdown of all the responsibilities of the contractor and the tasks they will be completing to achieve your goals. Often the quote should make reference to the plans provided. Secondly, the quote should break down what your responsibilities are, this is an important one. Knowing what you have to bring to the table is important and can easily be overlooked, causing confusion and delays. Whether it's materials you need to provide or a working bathroom, this should be addressed to avoid potential issues. Your quote should also mention a time line or project duration, it would be nice to know how long you'll be without a kitchen, right? The last thing on the quote should be the price. This price should be a clear total and should include any applicable taxes.

6) Don't let price be the only factor. If a contractor submits a lowball bid, be wary, often the lowest quote isn't the best quote. The contractor may be cutting corners, using inferior products or they are hiding costs/scope that may end up costing you more in the long run. We advise you to compare "apples to apples", make sure you're getting a comparable service and product for the price. Besides price, look at professionalism, competence, reviews, references and your personal comfort level to help guide your choice.

7) Get it in writing. A contract should be a part of every home renovation project. If a contractor does not provide you with a contact or is unwilling to sign one, think twice about going further. The contract should include; a payment schedule, proof of liability insures, a start date, substantial performance and completion date. Insisting on a clear contract isn't about distrust for either party. Contracts will provide clarity, roles, responsibilities, along with how you will deal with changes and will ensure a successful project.


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