Confessions of a Contractor: Part 2
In our last blog, Confessions of a Contractor, we discussed important information on how to hire a contractor for your next remodeling job. In order to get the results you want, you need to know what to look for! Among these are common mistakes people make when hiring a contractor, signs of a good contractor, and why bids may vary in price for the same job. If you're interested in an estimate for your upcoming project, check out our Remodeling Cost Calculator.
Now, let's dig into some more pointers!
5. What's a sign you've got a BAD contractor?
If your contractor asks for a down-payment of over 30% the cost of the job, take that as a warning-sign. The saying "Go with your gut" really rings true with contractors. If they seem unorganized, messy, uncommunicative (or take a very long time to get back), or unwilling to work with you, KEEP LOOKING. These are all warnings on how things will go once he project has begun.
6. Why do projects sometimes take longer than expected?
Change-orders are a major player in extending the length of a job. Once a remodeling job starts, clients often modify the job (either adding components like built-ins or moving walls, etc.). This is totally common and normal; however, it will lengthen the time it takes to get the job done. Additional items may need to be ordered, etc. All of this may prolong your project.
Even more common, contractors run into other issues during renovations. If it's a bathroom, they may find mold that needs to be remediated or the last guy who did work didn't level the framing correctly. A good contractor will not proceed with the renovation until all these issues have been properly fixed! So, sometimes these delays are for the best!
That said, there are some contractors who will take on too many jobs at once and since they're tied up on other jobs, your job could be unnecessarily delayed. This makes it even more important to ask the right questions prior to hiring a contractor. And make sure the timeline is detailed in the scope of work at the outset of the project.
7. How often should I expect my contractor to be on-site on my remodeling job?
On this one, make sure you lay down your expectations prior to hiring your contractor. With many of the larger remodeling companies, you will not see the general contractor as much as a project manager. If you're the type of person who wants to see your contractor a lot (and see him or her actually doing work on the job itself), you'll want to go with a smaller company. My company, St. Louis Renovators, is purposefully small for this very reason. I consider our company a "Boutique" remodeling company - I always respond to my clients personally, am on-site several times a week, and do a good bit of the work myself. There are pros and cons to every situation, you need to make sure what you're comfortable with prior to hiring a contractor.
If you missed it, check out Part 1 of this series to see my initial tips for hiring a contractor!