When you are planning on renovating your home, choosing the right contractor is very important to make sure that, at the end of the day, the project would be a sure success. Your contractor would help you with the planning process and then work with you throughout the whole project. Asking for recommendations before choosing a home renovation contractor in New Orleans. This is a New Orleans home renovation plan: hiring a contractor checklist and tips.
Here are the Checklist and Tips for Hiring a Contractor
1. Get Multiple Estimates
The first thing that you are going to have to do is get some estimates from several contractors. When you are collecting these estimates, you have to have at least three of them from multiple contractors. Once you get these estimates, compare them.
Look at the building materials that they have on hand, the timelines and how long the project would take, their work ethics and methods, and so many more factors you think are important for you.
2. Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible
Getting local contractors is so much easier when you are getting a renovation because it would be so much easier to contact them in case there are any problems in the development of the work after they finish the project. They are also going to be more likely familiar with the building codes you have in your area.
When you are working with them, ask them about their local address. If they refuse to give it to you, or they do not have any physical address and go door-to-door instead, then that is a big red flag.
3. Check Their Past Work
Checking their past work is always a smart thing to do. You could go to the Better Business Bureau to check their reputation and feedback on their work. Make sure you check what their work ethic is, customer service, quality of their products, and their reputation. Working with a contractor that has been in the business for at least 5 years, then is preferable.
4. Take Your Time Making a Sound Decision
Picking the right contractor is very crucial when you are looking for a contractor to work with. You need to have got a lot of bids before you make your decision and do not be pressured to make a decision right away. Take your time to assess each bid and weigh your pros and cons. Read the contractor, and make sure you understand everything in it.
5. Check Their Insurance and Bonding
Insurance and bonding is something you have to make sure of the contractor because if something bad happens while they are working on the project, then you and the worker would both be safe. Ask them for a Certificate of Insurance, with the name of the insurance company, the policy limits, and the policy number.
If you want to make sure, then you could also always contact the insurance company directly so that you are sure about the terms and conditions of everything. When the contractor you are working with does not have appropriate insurance coverage, then it is best that you look for another contractor to work with.
6. Get Everything in Writing
- Payment schedule
- Detailed work description
- Price of each item
- Estimated date to start
- Completion date
- Any other applicable guarantees
- Signatures from both parties
7. Understand Your Right to Cancel
There is a cooling-off period in federal law, this is when you could cancel the contract with a contractor without them adding a penalty. You are going to have to check on the Federal Trade Commission and any other laws in your state to make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your contract so in case you want to cancel, you could do so without any sort of hassle.
8. Don’t Pay Up-Front
It is recommended that you do not pay your contractor before the project is finished. When you are paying, make sure that you are paying the company and not an individual. And do not use cash. You are going to be required to pay ⅓ rd of the estimated cost if you have a large project.
9. Anticipate Delays
You need to expect the unexpected and there are going to be times when something happens to cause a delay. When you are planning your projects, bring in some leeway with any delays. So being realistic would have to be the way.
10. Keep a Job File
Keeping your contract and all of the other files and documents in a safe place is something that you have to make sure you do so in case anything happens, you are going to have proof. The files that you are going to have to keep are some of the canceled checks (if any), insurance certificates, notes, letters, change orders, plans, bills, invoices, and specifications.
Making sure you have all of these would help make your experience with your contractor so much better. Do not feel pressured to find a contractor right away, take time to do your research and compare quotes. Working with a reliable and trustworthy contractor would make sure you have the best end product.