What You Need to Know When Using a Contractor

We recently went through renovating our kitchen, due to a fire. Here a some great tips I would like to pass along on any room you are renovating, when using a contractor.

Know What You Want

Before you sit down with a contractor, list exactly what you want your project to include. Put items you must have (your needs) at the top of your list and those that aren't necessities (your wants) below, so that you can get a base rate for the project and add as your budget allows.

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Get Two or Three Bids

You'll never know if you're getting a good price unless you ask several contractors what your project will cost. Be sure to ask each to bid on the same job-otherwise, you'll never get an oranges-to-oranges comparison. And make certain anyone you consider has the proper liability insurance.

Put It in Writing

Once you've chosen a contractor, get all the details on paper. Include what will and won't be done (such as protecting the property around the job site). Specify materials to be used right down to the brand of paint. And settle on a start and estimated completion date. Any changes to the original contract through the course of the job should be put in writing and initialed by both parties.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

May 12, 20060 found this helpful

I have one tip to add: make sure, before the job starts, that you know who is responsible for removing all of the trash. We hired a contractor to work on our siding and did not know that we were responsible for getting a dumpster for trash removable. They were going to put it on our curb for trash pick-up, but our city would not take it unless it was in a dumpster. Just something to think about.

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May 19, 20060 found this helpful

Another tip, I work for a general contractor. To keep your project running smooth, as soon as you have your budget set on the optional items - fixtures for example. Pick out & purchase the items even if it is "weeks away". Those weeks/days go by very quickly and avoidable project delays are costly and frustrating to both parties involved. Often items are special order causing a delay. This is one simple but often overlooked item that can help keep a project on schedule.

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