There’s nothing really easy about home renovation. It takes time, money, space in your brain for decision making, not to mention the mess. Eesh. One thing that can really make or break your renovation experience, however, is your contractor. Think about it, they’re your personal expert, your specialist. Sure, the internet is a wealth of information and it only takes a little effort to access it at the tips of your fingers, but it’s nothing compared to the professional knowledge, training and experience of a contractor. They will be responsible for taking your ideas and turning them into reality, all while staying within your budget which is no easy task. Let’s look at a few things to ponder when hiring your contractor.
The most important thing in any relationship is trust. Trusting your contractor should be your top priority. This will come through to you in a few ways. Recommendations and reviews from previous clients. Take in all the good and the bad when scouring the websites and pestering your friends for details of their renovation. If you can visit an old job site in person, best day ever! If not, their portfolio should speak for itself. But the sure-fire way to know whether you can trust your contractor is meeting them in person and hashing it all out in an interview. Never hire a contractor without speaking to them in person.
For the best results, interview at least three contractors and compare notes on each to decide. It sounds silly, but it needs to be done. They’ll each have their own problem solving techniques, style, and charisma. It’s kind of like picking your presidential candidate. Yeah, you want them to be knowledgeable and good at their job, but you also want to feel comfortable speaking to them and confident in their decisions.
Insurance And Licensing
You’ll need to get caught up on zoning laws and city codes, but you should also get to know contractor licensing and insurance laws for your city and state. Requirements will vary from state to county to city, but it’s always better when someone is licenced and bonded. It’s also advisable that you inquire about the insurance they provide. Again, not all cities require insurance for contractors. Many, however, tend to have liability and workers comp. You can also check in with your home insurance to see what’s covered in a renovation, and maybe consider upgrading for the time.
How/Who They Hire
Some contractors work with a company that staff its construction workers. Other contractors have a small operation and sub-contract for bigger jobs when they need some extra hands on site. While the important thing is that the work gets done with integrity, it can definitely put your mind at ease if you know your contractor has a solid working relationship with his co-workers and is apt to vouch for their work and trustworthiness. There’s better vetting and having the same people on site day-to-day helps you build familiarity with those working in your home.