The Dos And Donts Of Hiring A Home Renovation Contractor

tips for hiring a home renovation contractor

The housing market isn’t the most steady market out there and everyone who flips or renovates knows that. It depends on the area, the current pricing and several other factors. However, in a related study done by Harvard University, a study on the Joint Center For Housing Studies showed that renovation and remodeling is still a multi billion dollar industry. This comes at a time where the market isn’t the best and the market continues to show its strength. Why is this? To answer that question, we need to look at the cost of remodeling.

Have you ever looked to purchase a new home? In decent neighborhoods, the price of the home is sky high. This is because you pay for the neighborhood and not necessarily the home itself. This is why the rent inside of a major city is often far higher than it would be 5-10 miles outside of the city. The market is so strong because home owners are coming to the realization that buying a home is far more expensive than just renovating it to make it fit their current needs.

Unfortunately though, to the untrained renovators and homeowners, renovating your home can sometimes cost more than the house you bought or buying a new house altogether. That’s why there are some obvious dos and donts when it comes to renovation.

First, let’s start off with the things you should do when renovating.

  • You should always start off any project with a market check. You need to evaluate the market of your home and hire a professional consultant to do so if necessary. Make sure that the proposed renovations or improvements are actually worth doing.
  • Make sure that you carefully plan out the project. You need to make sure you plan it out in such a way that you can live there while work is being done.
  • If you decide that you’re in over your head and want to hire a contractor, you have got to do background checks and make sure that you know who you’re hiring. Past working experience, previous projects, insurance, criminal record, etc.
  • Again, if hiring a contractor, it’s best to shop around and not go with the very first contractor. Make sure you get an estimate from at LEAST 3 different contractors before proceeding.

So what about all of those things you shouldn’t do?

  • Do not hire any kind of unlicensed contractor even if it is a great deal. Sure, the price may sound cheap but you’re going to get cheap work from a very shady contractor.
  • Don’t hire anyone to do the job before you shop around. You don’t know what deals you’re missing out on until you start shopping around to see what’s out there.
  • Do not under any circumstances act as if you’re a builder or an owner.
  • Make sure that you never pay 1) in the full amount and 2) with a proof of purchase receipt.
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Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

home improvement contractors
Hiring a contractor for such projects might sound easy, but the contractor has to be hired with discretion and good judgment to achieve the best results.

A good home improvement contractor would be able to follow up a project from start to finish, and deliver the required results within a given time frame. But the challenge is to find such a contractor and ensure a smooth deal, from hiring the contractor to handover. Some of these easy tips on hiring a contractor should help you with the process:

First and foremost, remember that hiring the first contractor you come across is not the best idea. You need to shortlist a few likely contractor candidates before hiring the best out of them. Try to consider only those home improvement contractors who have been recommended by friends, colleagues or acquaintances.

home improvementIn case such recommended contractors are fewer than you would like to choose from, ask other contractors for references from previous clients. Hiring a contractor who has been recommended online is also a great option. Check out and interact with all such references before hiring. A good tip is hiring a contractor who has done similar jobs before.

Before hiring the final contractor for the job, ask all the contractors in your shortlist to give you a formal bid for your project. Do not automatically choose the lowest bidder. Do your homework by asking about charges from people who have local experience in hiring such contractors and ask them for tips. Determine the cost of materials, fixtures and finishes that your contractor will use by visiting a home improvement store yourself.

While hiring a contractor, also ensure that he or she fulfils any licensing requirements of your state. The home improvement contractor should have established his credentials beyond any doubt, and have a good reputation. The contractor should also preferably carry insurance against issues like worker’s compensation, damage to property, and any personal liabilities.

Have a very clear, fixed idea of what sort of home improvement you need done before you start off with the contractor. The clearer you are in your mind, the better the contractor would understand you. It will also save you from unplanned costs incurred due to changes during the process of home improvement.

Once you have decided on your contractor, the hiring process should include the signing of a very clear contract with your home improvement contractor which would clearly state the materials to be used, the terms of demolition, required cleanup, and elimination of trash. The time frame for completion, payment terms, and release from any lien for any sub-contractors used should also be arranged to your mutual satisfaction.

home improvement estimatePayment plans should be well thought out. Keep in mind that payment is the only leverage you can use to get the job done by the contractor according to your expectations. A good tip is to make final payments to the home improvement contractor only once you are happy with the finished job.

Hire a contractor you can get along with very well, because the contractor would be in your house for quite a duration. Hiring someone who would have the right amount of time to devote to your project is also crucial, because sometimes hiring an extra-busy contractor can turn out to be a mistake.

Hiring a contractor is often the best way to carry out major improvements in your home. With the help of these tips you should be able to hire a great contractor, and carry out your home improvements without a hitch

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