What steps to consider when hiring the right contractor?
Before you contact a specific contractor, it is helpful for you to draw up a plan for what you want to do. The plan can be as simple or as complex as you want. If your job is simple, such as ‘fix a refrigerator’, a few words are all you need. If it involves more complex tasks, such as to remodel a kitchen, then more details may be needed. The purpose is to make clear to the contractor exactly what the job is, so that they can inform you of their ability to do what you require.
It’s quite likely that some discussion will be necessary with a contractor once you have made contact.
When you have determined that there is a business or businesses that you would like to contact, you can select them independently from the list. It may require a number of exchanges to get the necessary information that you need.
A face to face meeting can give you a better idea of the contractor you may be dealing with and a chance to discuss your project in detail.
At the end of the contact process you will want to get a quote.
A quote is an estimate of the cost of your job or project. It should be detailed, clear and complete. It indicates the responsibilities of the contractor and a promise of exactly what work and materials are involved. It is the beginning of the contract that may be drawn with the contractor regarding your project.
When you have accepted a quote from a contractor, you may want to draw up a contract. This can include details of the job to be done as well as time-frames and costs. A potentially important feature of a contract is a ‘Termination Clause‘. This lays out the terms by which a project can be cancelled. Many contractors can provide a standard contract or you can create an original contract, possibly with legal input of advice. It can also contain relevant contingencies, such as budget and pay schedule. There are two essential plans in a contract:
Cost plus flat fee: Cost are set at each stage of the project, with an overall management fee. This structure allows for flexibility, but it can be hard to estimate the final cost.
Bid Basis: With the contractor final cost is determined as well as schedule for fees payable to the contractor.
You should never pay a contractor for their work in advance.
You should never pay a contractor in cash.
Quality of material.
Time of delivery.
Questions you should ask the contractor.
How long have they been in business?
Are they properly licensed?
Are permits required for your project?
Can they give you a reasonable and detailed quote?
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