Everyone has heard at least one horror story about remodelling: Either the work was done so poorly that it had to be replaced, costs went well beyond the estimate, or the contractors simply disappeared with the money.
To avoid these pitfalls you will need to be active throughout the construction process. These tips will help you ensure you get the job done right the first time.
When looking for someone to do a job, answer these questions:
Can their credentials be verified?
Certifying bodies have web sites that let you search for certified contractors, making it easy to match contractor claims with those who issue certificates.
Have they ever filed for bankruptcy?
Less scrupulous businesses will file for bankruptcy to avoid paying for damage caused by their repairs. Like certifications, bankruptcy filings can also be found online. If you find the owner has had several failed businesses, stay away.
Have they worked in your area before?
If the contractor works locally, he or she will want to maintain their reputation. You might also be able to see examples of their work.
Can they show you what the work will look like before they do it?
Don’t sign a contract until you’ve gone over the details of the work and have see the materials that will be used before signing a contract. Some contractors can also show you a computerized version of the work they will do.
For work to begin you will need to sign off on a contract. This contract should contain the following:
A schedule for when the work will be done
A schedule for when payment will be made
The exact type of materials used and their costs
The method that will be used to handle disputes, including arbitration and maximum time between responses
Once work commences keep records on when work is done and when payments were made.
If there is something wrong with the building that prevents work being done, such as structural problems, it’s up to the owner to fix these problems, not the contractor. While you may hire the same contractor to do these repairs, this is separate from the original repair contract. Remember: never do business with someone who will not sign a written contract or demands full payment in cash up front.
3. Take care of problems as soon as they crop up
Once construction commences, keep an eye on the work so misunderstandings between you and the contractor can be caught and absolved before major damage has been done. Use your notes to show exactly where the problem is occurring and explain why you are unhappy.
Tommy Barrowdale helps people with white good and consumer electronics advice. Tommy is encyclopaedia for all things home appliance. Whether you want to know the difference between an american style fridge freezer or your standard freezer and fridge freezers or the best washing machines for your home, Tommy’s your man.
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