03.4 - tips for hiring a contractor

Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

A general builder in Cedar Park, JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling, tells you what you need to know before you hire a contractor.

JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling, the general builder for Cedar Park, talks about how a person should check out a possible contractor before asking them to work on the house. Here are his top eight expert tips to help you find a builder from the beginning to the end.

1. Get Recommendations

Start with your family and close friends. See if the National Association of the Remodeling Industry has any members in your area. A building inspector is another person you can talk to. 

JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling, the general builder for This Old House, says that a building inspector will know which home repair workers follow the rules. 

You can also go to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors often and knows which ones buy good materials and pay their bills on time.

2. Do Phone Interviews

Once you have a list, JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling says you should give each of your prospects a quick call and go over these things to ask a contractor:

  • Are the projects they work on as big as yours?
  • Are they willing to show you examples of how they handle money from providers or banks?
  • Can they tell you who they’ve worked with in the past?
  • How many other things are they working on at the same time?
  • How long have they been working with the helpers they hired?

The answers to these questions will tell you how open and reliable the company is, how much care they can give your project, and how well the work will go.

3. Meet Face to Face

Based on the phone interviews, choose three or four workers to meet with to get quotes and talk more. A worker should be able to answer all your questions in a way that makes you feel comfortable. He says you two must communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours. On the other hand, don’t be fooled by someone’s attitude. Before you buy something, check with the consumer protection office in your state and the Better Business Bureau in your area. 

Hiring a contractor ensures they have never fought with a client or supplier.

4. Investigate the Facts

Use what you’ve learned to choose now that you’ve narrowed your list. Call past clients to find out how their projects went and the result. But JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling says that your only goal shouldn’t be to be successful. Even more important, you should visit the worker’s job spot and watch how they do things. Is it a safe and clean place to work? Do the workers treat the homeowner’s things with kindness and care?

5. Make Plans, Get Bids

You have a short list of people with good work and clean records. Stop thinking about what you’ve done in the past and start thinking about your job. A careful builder will need more than just a complete set of plans. They will also want to know what the homeowners wish to do from the job and how much money they plan to spend. To compare prices, you should ask everyone to break down the cost of goods, labor, earnings rates, and other fees. Materials usually account for about 40% of the total cost. The rest goes to overhead costs and a 15% to 20% earning margin.

6. Set a Payment Schedule

Another important tip for getting a worker is to work out a payment plan ahead of time. Payment plans can speak to a contractor’s financial situation and work attitude. If they want half the price upfront, they may have financial problems or be afraid you won’t pay the rest after seeing the work. For big projects, a plan Usually pays 10% when you sign the contract, 25% three times throughout the job, and the last 15% when you think everything on the “punch list” has been taken care of Finished.

7. Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide

JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling says, “Throw out the low bid.” “This contractor is probably taking short-cuts or, worse, is desperate for work,” which is not a good sign for an economy that is doing well. Comfort should be as important as or more important than professional skill when choosing. The most important thing to think about when picking a handyman is how well you and he can talk to each other. If everything else is the same, it’s better to spend more and hire someone you’re comfortable with.

8. Put it in Writing

Make a contract that spells out every step of the job, including the start date, expected end date, materials and goods to be used, and a demand that the provider have proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments get lien releases from all subcontractors and suppliers. This protects you if he doesn’t pay his bills. JPS Cedar Park Construction & Remodeling tells us that his wanting a clear contract has nothing to do with not trusting us. It’s about making sure that a remodel goes well.

Lastly, remember that whenever you change or find a problem, the job will take longer and cost more. What are the four words in English that cost the most? “While all that’s going on…”

For more information, you can call us or go to our website.