Whether you're planning on selling your home, or staying around for a while, remodeling your home is a great way to increase your property value. Interior designers may have wonderful ideas for some great changes that you can make for, and cost of hiring a contractor can vary depending on what you decide to have done. Whatever the size of your home remodel job is, you must be careful when hiring a contractor. Many of them area good, legitimate professionals, but there are shysters around also.
Finding A Good Contractor
• You can always look for contractors through ads, but remember to check around before hiring one. Word of mouth is always the best form of advertising in any business (Even in my real estate business).
Getting Contractor Bids
• Try to get three bids, then you can begin to bargain. Contractors routinely lower bids when necessary.
• If one bid is substantially lower than the others, it’s a good idea to ask why. Is the contractor using inferior products, or too inexperienced to make an accurate estimate?
• Ask if estimates based on a fixed price or a “cost-plus” bid. In a fixed price bid, the changes during construction are re-negotiated. In a cost-plus bid, the contractor does the job, then submits receipts to you with an invoice for labor.
Who Can You Trust?
• Don’t trust a company that uses a PO box instead of a street address. Also check phone numbers to make sure it’s a legitimate company.
• Don’t fall for offers from “slick salesmen” who use high-pressure tactics to get your business.
• Don’t hire someone without a written estimate, a contract, and local references.
• Arrange your own financing, and never pay for the entire job upfront.
• Written warranties should be included with all the paperwork. Make a note the name and address of the party responsible for honoring the warranty, as well as the warranty’s time period.
• Specify who is responsible for obtaining and paying for permits, and always insist that construction codes are followed.
Every Contract Should Include These 5 Things
1) Description of the work (in detail) and the materials needed
2) Total cost of the project and the payment schedule
3) Start date, end date & warrantee info
4) Cleanup details & information
5) Signatures from you and your contractor
And always make sure you are satisfied with the work prior to making your final payment!