The following is a guest post from Modernize
Building or renovating your own home is an exciting process, but there are also many stressful decisions to conquer, both financial and stylistic. The most vital decision you make when it comes to your home is hiring a reliable person or company to manage the project. You need someone who is willing to invest their time and high-level talents into your home, and finding that person isn’t always easy. Modernize offers some tips on tracking down the right person for the project, who will ensure that things go as smoothly as possible every step of the way.
Know What You Want
Before you speak with any contractors or even search for one, make sure you know what you want out of your new home or renovation. Research to see if what you want is possible within your current budget so you won’t be disappointed or get yourself in high water down the line. Be able to express what you want in specific terms so when you do start talking to contractors, they can give you the most accurate information and estimates possible.
Use a Service to Narrow Down Your Choices
At Meetarenovator, we streamline the search for a quality contractor so you’re not starting from scratch. We connect a community of those who need work done with profiles of contractors that give information such as the contractor’s location, the type of clients they prefer (individuals or companies), how long they’ve been in business, and more information that is useful to anyone who needs a contracting job done well.
Look at Online Reviews
Online reviews shouldn’t be the only aspect you base your decision on, but they certainly can be helpful when you want to avoid a horror story. Make sure the reviews you’re checking out and putting faith in were written by people who actually hired the contractor in question, rather than people who simply communicated with them.
Ask for Recommendations—and Warnings
Browsing the web is a great way to narrow down the search, but there’s nothing more trustworthy than word of mouth advice from the people in your life. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances if they’ve hired anyone to do similar jobs. Remember not to just ask about who they recommend, but also who they wouldn’t recommend. If you’re comfortable, take the opportunity to ask to see their work for yourself before you dive into commitments.
Call a few different contractors to give you estimates on the job. Ask for a cost breakdown so that you know where your money is going. Make sure to touch on all the questions that come to mind, and closely compare a few options rather than picking the first one you like. While you’re at it, ask how much the contractor is going to be involved and how much work they’re going to give to employees or subcontractors.
Closely Review Your Contract
Your contractor will most likely have a boilerplate contract for you to review and sign. Make sure you take a close look at it, and if something about it doesn’t sit right with you, hire a lawyer to review and propose changes. Your home is too valuable an investment for you to risk getting taken advantage of or not getting what you desire out of the process. Sometimes closely reviewing the contract isn’t even necessarily to save you from getting taken advantage of, but just to make sure that both parties are on the same page and that the job is going to be done to your specifications.
For some jobs, you might not need to hire a renovator. For example, when it comes to cleaning up after a move, or fixing up a house following renovations, a cleaning lady is often the best person to call. If you're curious, you can find the price of a housekeeper on housekeeper.com. Odds are, opting for a cleaning lady will save you some time and money.
Don’t let your aspirations for your home become a cautionary tale. Hire the right contractor to get the job done.