Everyone wants to live in a home they are proud of. It’s a great moment when you are finally in the position to turn your house into that dream home you’ve always wanted. It’s a chance to be creative and own something you will truly be proud of. You get to look through magazines and home design shows and you start to get an idea of exactly how you want everything to look.
But then the dream collides with the ugly reality of having to hire a Building Contractor. This is the point where you have to communicate your dream to another person and you have to trust them to make it happen. And hopefully, without any nasty hassles along the way.
But if you have never worked with a contractor before then how do you know who to work with? And how can you make sure it all goes smoothly.
Hiring the Right Licensed Contractor
Obviously it all starts right here. Hiring a trustworthy contractor is the number one problem and one that scares a lot of people to death. No one wants to feel like they have made a mistake. And no one wants to be telling their friends about the nightmare they had with that one supposedly great contractor.
Get it in Writing, Get it in Writing, Get it in Writing
Did I mention to get it in writing?
This is really what it is all about when it comes to making sure things go according to plan. After all, how can things go according to plan if there isn’t a plan??
If your contractor is dishonest then this protects you against scamming. If your contractor is honest then this protects you against misunderstanding. And if your contractor is just plain human then this protects you against forgetfulness.
There are many great reasons to get everything in writing and agreed to before any work is done. There is only really one reason not to do it: is a bit more time consuming to write something down on paper. But believe me, a trip to small claims court is far more time consuming.
What Should Be In Writing?
After discussing the project with your contractor he should provide you with a very detailed description of the work to be performed. To protect yourself you should take the time to read this carefully. Keep a close eye on the details and make sure that everything you expect to happen is written in.
Very often during the final negotiations before signing the contract there will be some verbal agreements made. The contractor will be very eager to agree with your requests because he is about to get the job. He may just nod his head enthusiastically and then forget when he walks out the door with your deposit check. Make sure that whatever you agree to (“Don’t trample my azalea bushes” “Make sure your workers take off their shoes to walk through the house” “Make sure that skylight is horizontal not vertical” etc. etc. etc.) is written in and signed by both of you.
A huge number of hassles can be avoided with these two simple precautions:
- Hire Carefully
- Get it in Writing