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What to Know About Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a contractor to start your dream renovation project can be daunting especially when it’s your first time. You want to be sure you’ve asked all the right questions and done the proper research before you make the first call. Prepare yourself for this important task with these tips.

Have a complete list of everything you want done before you get started.

Don’t start making calls before you are truly ready to get the ball rolling. You can’t get an accurate estimate of the work without a complete list of the projects you want done. Decide if you are doing a complete remodel or a renovation. A remodel includes moving plumbing and changing the entire design of a space while a renovation is a rework of the space you have.

Use good ol’ word of mouth.

Before you jump on too many online review sites, ask your fellow locals who they recommend. Find out who to go to from people you know and trust and compose a list of around 10 contractors to compare.

Ask the right questions.

When you’ve comprised your list of 10 to 12 contractors, narrow down your list by asking these questions.

  • Do they have experience in the work you need to be done and how much?

  • How long have they been in business?

  • Do they have insurance?

  • Are they licensed according to your state laws

  • When can they start?

  • Where do they purchase their materials?

  • Can they provide references?

These initial questions should help you narrow down your choices to about 5. Ask these questions to those who made the cut.

  • Can you visit their current job site?

  • What permits will you need?

  • How much work will be done by subcontractors?

  • Do they have a good relationship with the subcontractors?

  • Can they provide an itemized bid?

  • Is their bid an estimate or fixed price?

  • What will the payment schedule look like?

The next step is to get a detailed bid, contract, and payment plan.

Your itemized bid should include all material, labor, and equipment costs. You want to choose a bid that is at least 10 to 15 percent lower than your total budget to make room for any snags or hiccups along the way. Get ready for those. They are expected with any job.

Your contract should include absolutely everything that needs to be done. It should also include a timeframe and schedule, company contact and insurance information, the names of all laborers and materials, and an agreed payment plan. Don’t forget to include that the contractor is responsible for obtaining all permits. A typical payment schedule usually includes 10 percent to start the project with periodic payments of 25 percent throughout the job. Never expect to pay 50 percent of the cost upfront.

With these tips, you can proceed with a little bit of confidence. Ready to hire your cabinet contractor? We’re ready to get started with a free project estimate. Click here to kick off your project today.


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