When going over a major project, it’s crucial to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and what you don’t want to happen.
You should also put into writing your expectations and goals for your contractor. The point of this is to help you build a list of prospects and eventually decide on the best contractor for your project. You can talk to friends and relatives who have worked on similar projects, so they can give you recommendations and even get the contractor’s contact information.
Check If They Have a License and Insurance
Whether you are working on a community project, home renovation, or office construction, ensuring that your contractor has a license proves their competitiveness, credibility, and knowledge. It’s proof that the contractor has taken and passed a necessary exam and that they have sufficient knowledge of building codes and processes. A license also makes it less likely for you to be taken advantage of, so if you must, you can get the contractor’s license number just to be sure.
Another thing you have to check is if the contractor is insured. If a contractor does not have insurance and a worker is injured on-site, you may end up becoming liable. This can also apply if there happens to be an accident that damages your neighbor’s property. In such incidents, you want the contractor to pay for the damages, so it’s best to check for their proof of insurance.
Always Put Agreements Into Writing
Once you find a contractor for your project, don’t forget to put all your agreements in writing. It’s vital to secure a written contract that specifically states the project details that you agreed upon. Make sure that the budget and schedule are also included. At this stage of the project, before you even start with the work, really sit down with your contractor and discuss everything necessary, including your start and completion date.
Choose a Contractor Who Has the Expertise and Experience You Need
Of course, it’s always much better to work with a contractor that specializes in a specific skill area. It’s a good idea to look into their work history, how long they have been in the business, and what type of specialties they work on. A contractor specializing in building shops and offices might not be able to renovate your home as effectively as a contractor with years of experience in home improvement. Also, professional roof replacement services will outperform a general handyman. Specialists are specialists for a reason. Not only that, but with the intricate and complex building codes these days, you want to work with someone who has the experience and knows these complexities, and save you the time and money from going back and forth with authorities.
In addition, as you gather quotes for different contractors, make sure they are all using exact copies of your plans and specifications. This is because getting an estimate from different contractors who plan to use different brands and materials simply won’t give you a clear overview.
Communicate Guidelines and Restrictions
Apart from construction agreements, you have to discuss with your contractor specific guidelines while working in and around your property. For example, only working specific hours within the day, restrictions regarding working past certain hours, and restrictions to access certain parts of your property that aren’t included in the project. This is important for you and your contractor, as there may be some parameters that they might disagree with, which could break the deal. Communicate what each party’s limits and expectations are.
Bear in mind that working hour restrictions within the day might also mean extending the project timeline.
Don’t Forget That You Also Have a Role to Play
Besides all the above considerations, you need to acknowledge your part and responsibilities in the project you are working on. Be proactive and responsible in preparing a room or area before the start of construction, like removing a fence so a truck can drive into your property.
Many contractors will not be willing to put away or move furniture and equipment from a room for fear of being held liable in case of accidents. Some contractors include a discussion and agreement regarding their clients’ responsibilities in their pre-construction meeting, and all these details are also put into writing. The contractor might recommend professional furniture movers for you or ask you to remove hanging fixtures and remove furniture. And if you have pets, it should also be your responsibility to keep them away from the construction zone. Let the workers know where you will keep your pets, so they can be aware and avoid any mishaps.