choose-a-contractorThe Buyer Must Always Beware

When you decide to commit to a home improvement project for your property, you are hoping to make the house you bought into the home that you’re going to love. You may not have the time or the experience to confidently do it yourself so you have to hire a local builder who contracts for construction projects; you hire a contractor. There are a few points to ponder before you commit on what could be an expensive and time-consuming venture.

Even Nice Guys Can Turn Mean Eventually

When homeowners work with contractors to do some home improvement there is always a risk. There are incentives to cut corners and overprice work on the contractor’s side. Believe it or not this doesn’t make them a bad person per se. It just means that they are trying to get the better end of a deal in the transaction in a competitive business.

If you have never been self-employed or worked in the building industry you may not be aware of just what a cutthroat environment it is. The cycles of the economy, the ruthless competition and many harsh lessons along the way to your doorstep are enough to harden the heart of any kind soul, who is likely working to put food on the table for his or her family.

Some Points To Ponder In Hiring Contractors

When you are preparing to hire a contractor you should keep the following points in mind. Generally, you need to make certain that you hire right, so that you don’t have issues down the road. Needless to say, a little due diligence goes a long way.

  • Research the job on your own to find out what is going to be involved
  • Check out the social media reputation of prospective local builders
  • Seek referrals from people you know and trust who recently had work done
  • Get at least three bids from unconnected businesses to determine if the pricing is fair
  • Visit your local planning office and start the permit process on your own
  • Make payment for the project contingent on satisfactory approval by the city building inspector

For larger projects work with an architect or builder as consultants who oversee the project. You might even wish to consult a real estate attorney to review the intended process. In this case, you want to apply the selection process to them as much as the actual builder. The experience of a professional overseer can be the key to getting the job done right, and on time.

Make sure you ask your local real estate professional for contractor referrals. Realtors have a reputation to uphold and any reference they give will be someone they trust not to abuse that favor.

Some Clichés Will Tell You The Truth

Hiring contractors for real estate rehab, and home improvement brings to mind a whole host of clichés. That is only natural be cause of the transactional nature of the business of home improvement projects.

So, remember to caveat emptor and don’t pay the ferryman ‘til he gets you to the other side, et cetera. Contractors are people too so be prepared to apply a little character judgment and wisdom to the process and, with any luck, you can have an on-time under-budget home improvement project that will be the envy of the neighborhood.