When you hire a contractor for a major remodel, you expect that you’ll see good, professional conduct, and not a messy, he-said she-said situation. It’s important to do your homework before you sign up, then, or part with any money, at all. If you aren’t clear how far things can go awry with the wrong contractor, here’s a heads up.
You may get a contractor who doesn’t listen to you
The planning process is supposed to be an ongoing one through the project. If you are to get anything done, you will need the contractor to both listen to you and make you feel respected. If you end up with a contractor who neglects to treat you like a person, you can end up with a situation where you simply do not get what you want.
You may get a contractor who demands full payment up front
While there are rules that require contractors to not accept full payment up front, many do. They do it for two reasons — to make sure that you don’t fire them when they perform poorly, and for money to complete other people’s projects that they have run out of funds for. It’s important to never pay more than 10% upfront. If you make the mistake of paying everything up front, the contractor will invariably ask for more money before long.
You may get a contractor who farms work out
You may neglect to require in the contract that the contractor you speak to personally do all the work. Many contracting businesses, however, are simple fronts used to obtain, contracts. Once they do have a job, they simply sell it to other contractors. You’ll end up feeling cheated, and with no recourse.
You get serious delays
Most people believe that contractors only run behind schedule when they are unorganized, or when they take up too many projects. You may believe that putting a timely-completion clause in the contract will protect you from such delays. Unfortunately, doing this doesn’t help with certain kinds of delay. When a contractor wants to exceed the time period stipulated in the contract, it’s easy for him to simply make mistakes in the plan that he submits to the city. The city will keep returning the plan until all mistakes are corrected. Since the delay is technically something the city is doing, your timely delivery stipulation will become hard to enforce.
Finally, you will get none of the extras that you never knew existed
According to the home improvement professionals at Cornerstone Builders of Fort Myers, FL, real, professional contractors offer very useful extras with every contract — multiple levels of checks, balances and supervision, free seminars and educational meetings for homeowners, specialist contractors for specific job categories, a chain of command for complaint escalation and so on. You may not even know that such extras exist until you deal with professionals.
It isn’t that hard to find good contractors. You only need to do a little work looking up licensing information, reviews and references.