The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a Home Contractor
You’ve done it. You’ve thought about it long and hard and now you are ready to make a home renovation. Now the next step in the process is finding a contractor. Though finding someone to work on your home may seem simple -- just some quick research on the Internet -- choosing the correct contractor to take on your home project is vital to its success. So before you go signing on the dotted line, take our advice with these simple dos and don’ts. DO: Ask for a fixed price on the bid. When contractors go through your home and offer you a bid it is usually an estimate. This means that the price that they are asking may change -- often upwards. By asking for a fixed bid for your home renovation you’ll will eliminate any surprise charges as the project continues. Also, contact a few reputable contractors in order to check overall pricing for your project. Some home contractors will present homeowners with a single bid for the entire project. Don’t take it. Just simply -- and kindly -- ask your potential contractor for an itemized bid. There are many different steps and expenses in home renovations. It’s important that you know where your money is going. This way, if you feel that you can tackle a certain step on your own, you can eliminate that cost. DO: Meet your foreman. For the majority of general contractors, the person offering you the bid is not the same person who will be working on the project. General contractors supervise multiple renovations that their company has, while the foreman is the person who actually will be working in your home everyday. Get to know your foreman, see some of their past work, and make sure that you trust him. This will ensure that your project goes smoothly. Like with anyone who is applying for a job, references can make or break the deal. While someone may be accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it doesn’t mean that they are up to par. By contacting the potential contractor’s references, you will be able to get a better sense of how they work and if their past customers are satisfied. DO: Establish a good line of communication. Communication is key, especially when you have people making changes to your home. We understand that your home is your castle. Therefore, having good communication with your contractor is vital. This will help you during the times you get worried about cost, stressed out about progress, or when possible changes happen -- and they most often do! By communicating with your general contractor and foreman you will be confident that taking this project on was a good idea. DON’T: Forget to track any changes. Sometimes it seems as if change happens at the worst times. This is why it’s important for you to keep a journal or list of activity. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a private investigator. This list will help you track the progress of your renovation and make sure that everything that you signed in the contract is being done. Choosing the right contractor for your home project is important. You want this process to be easy and successful, so you need a successful contractor. Too often people are persuaded to use someone who isn’t the best fit for them. In fact, we have a perfect example for you. The homeowner in this video fell for the advertised “expertise” of a basement waterproofer who did not live up to its promises. Check it out here. Overall, when trying to choose a contractor for your project, the best thing to do is TRUST YOUR GUT. By taking the time and being selective with who you choose, you will guarantee that your project will turn out just as you imagined. With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit (www.keepamericadry.com), follow Ameri-Dry on Facebook or Twitter.