Top 13 Recommended Tips on Working with a Contractor
1) Be sure to carefully review drawings with your contractor and make decisions on materials together and put them in writing.
2) Once you choose your contractor, you and the contractor should make a written contract that consists of both of your names, addresses and details of all the work to be performed along with the materials used and agreed payments and dates.
3) If you have doubts after you've signed the contract with your contractor, remember that contracts signed in your home with your contractor or his agent can likely be canceled by you within three working days. Discuss this with your contractor.
4) Make sure that all materials are specified by brand, model, color, quantity, size, etc.
5) Start dates and completion dates should be noted. Allowances should be specified for uncontrollable delays.
6) No work should occur until you have approved the plans.
7) Check for a procedure on handling changes once a project has begun.
8) Ask your contractor for a timeline of what happens when, the order of steps, and the length of each step. This will help you and your contractor set expectations.
9) Be sure to clearly articulate your vision for the project to the contractor, along with your budget.
10) Don't be afraid to ask your contractor questions and show your interest in the project, but try to avoid micro-managing.
11) Some states require contractor workmanship warranties. They must be noted as either FULL or LIMITED. Be sure you discuss and understand all workmanship warranty details before accepting a contract.
12) The contractor is responsible for calling inspections - but it's up to you to make sure they actually happen.
13) Ask your contractor what you can expect in terms of disruption of your daily life and how long it would be.
For additional advice on how to work with a contractor, read Tips for Remodeling Your Home.