Home renovation can be overwhelming, your general contractor being the right fit will make your renovation much easier.
Cheaper is not better
The cheapest contractor is not always the best. Most likely he is underbidding to get the job and will still spend what the others quoted. Price is not the best hiring criteria. Hire based on his references, his experience, and how you interact together.
Create a timeline
Now, you’ve picked your contractor but before you sign the contract, put in writing a projected timeline. Work with your contractor prioritizing and getting what is needed from you to follow that timeline. The contractor may need the tile picked out immediately, but may not need paint colors until after the tile is installed. By outlining these tasks to the timeline you are providing the contractor the information needed to complete your project in a timely manner.
Be as organized and upfront as possible — make sure you know exactly what you want before the project gets going. Print out the inspiration for the project, and show the contractor exactly what you want.
If you have already picked out paint colors and other finishes, put these in writing on your timeline and share it with him. Even better, create and share a calendar that prioritizes and outlines the entire project time line from item orders placed to swatches, printed pics and delays .
The contractor you choose needs to be open and informative. Many people are so forceful with their budget and time expectations that their contractor is afraid to give them “bad news.” If you want to change something from the original contract, it’s called a “change order,” and no matter what it is, it will cost extra. Hostility gets you no where, take the bad news and stride and work positively to solve the issue.
When you consider changing something from the original plans, ask your contractor how much it will add to the budget and how much time it will add — and encourage him to be as honest as possible.
Communication is key
When interviewing contractors it is best to lay out your expectations. How often you expect to see your contractor on the job, estimated completion date, budget and frequency of communication are all great things to cover. Ask if they would have a problem picking up the project after it had already been started by another a contractor. If you share your expectations in a clear manner there can be no misunderstanding later on; and if you end up having to replace your original contractor you will know who to call.
Always check all references the contractor provides you, as well as his license and insurance. Call prior clients and ask how frequently he visited the job site, whether he stayed within the budget, and if he finished the job in a timely manner. Also, ask if he was quick to return calls and/or emails.
Ask for the best from your contractor and your contractor will attempt to meet your expectations, but be realistic and be prepared for delays and problems as nothing ever goes entirely as planned.
Flexibility towards a clear and concise vision will save you and your contractor stress in the long run.