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The Intricacies of Hiring a Contractor for Your Home

The Intricacies of Hiring a Contractor for Your Home

It’s hard to know what kind of contractor you can trust when going through the remodeling process. One good or bad decision can make all the difference. Unfortunately, there is no successful formula for this. But homework goes a long way in finding someone suitable for your type of home improvement project and may be worth sticking with if things go as desired. Whether there is a requirement for extensive remodeling or new construction work, general contractors will be the people handling all the aspects of the process. They will buy materials and hire subs or sub-contractors. So, you essentially interact with the main contractor and pay him. The contractor will deal with suppliers and subs.

A few things to consider when hiring a contractor

Bidding process

When choosing between different contractors to complete a job, you can’t just take the first few bids that come your way without doing some background checks. While it may seem easy to get things done, there is a lot more work involved in this process, remarks Attorney Tommie Harsley. Since you have no set standards for comparison between all of the bidders at this point, ask them to submit several bid projects based on different timelines and figures. They should focus on material costs and labor charges and not on how quickly they can finish the job and others. Remember that having a group of different companies compete against one another will ultimately drive down your cost – which is something pertinent when making estimates on construction projects.

The exercise will help you distinguish between serious bidders, those interested in making a profit, and someone trying to win a project hard. It would be best to be wary of contractors who underbid or overbid.


Attorney Tommie Harsley says that even though contractors do their best to be accommodating, you should ensure that everything is there within the contract. Whenever possible, try and wait to sign up until the deadline is approaching, if not already upon you. If something threatens to throw off your timing, discover them beforehand instead of seeing them turn against you during the middle of your project. Have a proposal that spells out exactly how much each change in your plans will cost, and also disclose any incentives or penalties for hitting or missing critical deadlines – as long as they are fair to both sides.

Contracts often have payment schedules specified, adds Pastor Tommie Harsley. Ideally, it should include milestones around 30 percent lump sums paid out at the start of a project, scheduled over the first few months. Then, the remaining 10 percent or so comes out after completing punch list items.

Essentially, budget and payment-related issues need to get sorted out beforehand. The price points for each contractor can be different because of the lack of industry-established rates. Nevertheless, it’s always safer to use a check or credit card for payments instead of cash. Large-scale projects may need some financing. Moreover, it is not a problem if the contractor asks for a down payment. Still, you should check state rules and regulations to understand how much you should pay.