How to Hire a Contractor

This blog is for both buyers and sellers, who will at some time need to hire a contractor to do work on their home.
 
A question that is often asked is, “Who should I hire”?
 
Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to avoid problems down the line:
 
GET MULTIPLE BIDS FROM LICENSED CONTRACTORS
You must remember that you are the client and you should not settle for only one bid. Ask them for proof that their building license is valid and for referrals from previous clients. If one of the bids is much lower than the others, be careful. That contractor may be cutting corners or perhaps not making sure he gets the necessary building permits.
 
GET IT ALL IN WRITING
For your own protection as well as that of the contractor, all agreements should be put in writing.
 
MAKE SURE YOUR CONTRACT IS SPECIFIC
Everything that you have verbally agreed on with your contractor should be included in the agreement. This includes complete cleanup and removal of debris and materials as well as any special requests like saving certain materials or appliances.
 
GET A COPY OF THE CONTRACT
Once you have both signed the contract, make sure you get a copy for your records. This will ensure that both your contractor and you are bound by everything set down in the contract.
 
YOU CAN MAKE CHANGES ALONG THE WAY
If you would like changes made once the project has started, put it in writing on a change order (including price changes) and once it is signed, the change order will become part of the contract.
 
DEFINE THE FINANCIAL TERMS

The total price should be presented on the contract as well as when payments will be paid and whether there is a cancellation penalty. You should be prepared to pay a deposit to your contractor in an amount agreed upon.
 
Instead of learning lesson “the hard way”, take the extra time to follow these tips and make your home project enjoyable and easy.

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