The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring and Managing a Home Renovation Contractor


According to a Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies study, residential or home remodeling is a multi-billion-dollar industry that thrives in an otherwise depressed housing market. This is due to homeowners’ growing realization that improving their homes through remodeling (bathroom, kitchen, roofing, or windows) can be a better option than moving to a new home. Get the Best information about turnkey renovations.

Home renovation projects can cost as much as a new car, depending on the project’s scope, and can even cost more than a new house! Unfortunately, not all homeowners recognize the importance and risks of a remodeling project. Many also do not take the necessary time to select the best contractor. In the worst-case scenario, hiring the wrong contractor can result in delays, overspending, and a poor job.

Here are some excellent “Do’s and Don’ts” for your home renovation planning:

Do’s and Don’ts

• Always begin with a market check. Check that your planned or proposed improvements are appropriate for the market value of your home.

• Be extremely cautious when it comes to project planning. For example, can you live at home while you work? This is a critical question.

• Conduct some research and background checks on several contractors before deciding on one. For example, consider previous client feedback, insurance, licenses, trade and supplier references, etc.

• Accept at least three bidders if possible to get the best price from the contractors.

• Whenever possible, provide accurate specifications and plans that assist and enable the contractor to determine the scope and cost of the job when soliciting bids.

• Make sure that your chosen contractors are correctly licensed, taking into account their disciplinary history about their license. This information is available from your Contractors State License Board.

• For more background information on your contractor, check with your local building department, consumer protection agency, trade associations or unions, and the Better Business Bureau.

• Look over your contractor’s previous work and contact their references.

• Make sure that the contract includes the phrase “retention.”

• For any home remodeling or improvement project, keep files with document copies, especially contracts.

• Obtain unconditional lien releases (from material suppliers and subcontractors).

• Inspect the work regularly for quality and quantity and do a walkthrough when finalizations arrive.

• Consult an attorney for essential legal advice, especially if a mechanics’ lien has been filed against your property.

The Do’s and Don’ts

• Do not hire an unlicensed contractor or someone who cannot provide proof of license validity.

• Do not hire anyone until you have considered other contractors or obtained at least three bids.

• Don’t give in to the more persuasive and aggressive sales agents. Instead, take the time to ensure that the contractor can complete the project professionally and within your budget.

• Do not pretend to be a builder or an owner.

• Do not sign contracts or papers before thoroughly reading and comprehending the terms and conditions.

• Never deal with subcontractors or extra workers without consulting with your main contractor first.

• Do not pay in whole or cash unless you have a proper receipt.

• Do not exceed the legal limit when it comes to down payments, usually 10%. But, most importantly, don’t make progress payments that exceed the overall progress of the job… and don’t try to hold back amounts unnecessarily either. Both can cause friction that is detrimental to the project.

• Do not be afraid to ask your contractor any questions you may have both before and during the work.

• Do not pay in full or make the final payment until delighted with the work.

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