Picture yourself at home, enjoying a good book and a relaxing evening in front of the crackling fireplace. The children are finally getting along. The sounds of soft giggling drift through your home and all is well with the world.
Suddenly, a frantic call for “MOM!” rings through the house.
The kids had been happily playing with a few rolls of toilet paper. In order to remove all evidence of the crime, they decided to stuff it all in the toilet and flush. Now you have water rushing out of the toilet and into the kitchen.
In moments like these, you don’t care who and you don’t care how much it is going to cost. You need a plumbing contractor NOW! You grab the phone book and start dialing, silently cursing. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and all we can do is survive the storm.
But more often than not, home renovations are something we plan and prepare for. Contractors are carefully chosen, materials are selected for style and functionality and a budget is set for each step of the project.
It is so important that you hire the right contractor for the job. I believe this is the single most important decision you will make in your building or renovation project.
What to do before the project begins
I always start the process of choosing a professional by using a service like eieihome. I thoroughly read through the reviews and narrow my search to 3 contractors. Then I give all three a call and make sure to ask the following questions:
- Explain my project and ask them how they would approach it?
- Do they have experience with this specific type of project?
- When would they be available to look at my project and give me a quote?
With this information, I work to set up a time to meet each contractor on site and do a walk-through with them.
What to ask after you’ve made contact with a contractor
- Now that you have seen my project what is your plan?
- I know that you are busy, when could you fit me into your schedule?
- How quickly can you get me a quote for this project?
I have found that if I take the time to meet with all 3 contractors and ask them all the same series of questions, it is easy for me to narrow down which one I would prefer to work with. I am looking for someone who is honest, hard working and willing to treat me as a priority.
Once I receive the quote for services from the contractors, I will make my final decision. If I am hiring them for a building project, this would be the point in time that we would pull out our contract and agree on a price, plan for payment, and timeline.
Ask these questions about a simple home renovation
- When do you have me scheduled?
- When do you expect payment?
- What if there are delays? How will they be handled?
- If the scope of the project changes, or you run into something that will increase my cost, how will you communicate this with me?
As a homeowner, you must always seek to protect your own interests while treating contractors with the same amount of respect and honesty that you expect out of them.
Having open and honest dialogue right from the beginning will help you develop a good working relationship with these business professionals and give you the best chance at success with your project.
Need a general contractor but don’t know where to look? We can help! Take a look at our database of general contractors and read reviews from customers like yourself.
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About The Author
Sarah Koontz is a stay-at-home wife and mother of 2 beautiful little girls. She is passionate about writing and loves sharing her advice and experiences with anyone who will listen. She has a blog with her best friend Sammi at Grounded and Surrounded where they write about all things Healthy! Hearts, Homes, & Habits. Find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.