Hire the right contractor

You finally decided to move forward with your new big house project! Whether it’s finishing your basement or updating your kitchen, you want it done efficiently and you want it done right. One of the most important pieces of this puzzle is selecting the right contractor. But how can you be sure you are making the right choice? We break it down so that you know what to look for and the right questions to ask when interviewing contractors.

  • Who will be here everyday? They could be handling everything themselves or subcontracting the work out. Either way, it’s important to know and feel comfortable with whoever will be in your home day in and day out.
  • Ask for a sample contract.
  • Once you have a sample contract, look for the following items. If any of these details are missing, request that they be added.
  1. Does the contract state exactly what is to be done and outline the process for changes in orders or tasks?
  2. Does the contract have a completion date and outline what will happen if that date isn’t met?
  3. Does the contract specify that the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage?
  • What is the process for my approval of all materials throughout the project? You certainly don’t want a counter installed that you simply detest or a paint color that’s just not what you pictured. Discuss the contractor’s approval process for each material used as the project progresses.
  • Find the right contractor by word of mouth. Ask your friends who they suggest and then read online reviews to get a good feel for their work ethic and final outcomes. Yelp, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau are a good place to start.
  • Ask for an itemized estimate. Not only will acquiring an itemized estimate clarify exactly what you’re paying for, it will also allow you to clearly compare contractors and request adjustments on specific parts of the project. Obtaining three itemized estimates will paint a detailed picture of the project and allow you to visualize the breakdown of costs.