Top 7 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

Johanna G. Seldes/IDC Tampa Interior Designer

Top 7 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

Whether your home project is a simple bathroom remodel or a complete start-over gut job, the success or failure of the project will oftentimes depend on the contractor you hire. Hiring the wrong person for the job could lead to an endless project with many unforeseen expenses. Choosing the right contractor is easier than you think, but you do have to do your due diligence. We are here to help with 7 tips for hiring a contractor.

  1. Check their License – Would you eat at a restaurant without their safety certifications hanging on the wall or a poor food inspection grade? I don’t think so! The same standard should apply to anyone you are hiring to work in your home. Make sure you check a contractor’s license and that it’s in good standing. Even if your contractor’s license looks great, make sure to check the subcontractors as well.
  2. Double-check their Insurance – Insurance is critical for a myriad of reasons, especially because you’ll have several team members working on a project in your own home. If something goes wrong with a worker, you want to make sure you’re not liable or have to pay workers’ compensation. Not only should you ask to see insurance, but you also need to double-check if it’s active, valid, and most importantly, covers all aspects of your project.
  3. Scope out References – Ask for references and contact them. Even better, ask to go see a project or two. Seeing a project in person can give you a good idea of the kind of business the contractor runs. An in-person project visit is a perfect time to ask hard-hitting questions about timing, quality, responsiveness, and cost. Moreover, referral and social websites exist for a reason. Yet, bear in mind the information could be limited and may not be completely objective about the quality of work the contractor does and the kind of people they hire.
  4. Get it In Writing – Before the team parks their trucks and unloads their tools, finalize the scope of the work, in writing. A proper contract should be on letterhead and include clear timelines and benchmarks, as well as payment schedules and how completion should be signed off. Make sure you take a copy of it for your own paperwork as well. A contract protects you legally in case something goes wrong or the project seems to be going astray.
  5. Do Not Order the Materials – There are several reasons you hire a contractor but the main one is expertise. A contractor knows exactly what products you need and the measurements they should be. Ordering through your contractor means they can make sure you get the best quality at the best price point. When it comes to buying materials, you make the style choices, but leave the logistics to the professionals.
  6. Only Pay the Contractor – You wouldn’t ignore the checkout line and just slide a twenty towards a random employee at the grocery store. The same premise applies to a contractor. Under no circumstances should you make a payment to anyone other than the contracting business itself. Do not pay a person, only the company itself.
  7. Save your final payment for when you’re fully satisfied – Save the last payment installment until the project is completely finished and you’re happy with it. You don’t want to get trapped in a tricky situation where the contractor is no longer motivated to fix any mistakes. The final payment should be the absolute last thing you do involving the project after the finishing touches are done and the crew has left your house.

Feeling nervous about keeping track of all of these details or worried some way or another you’ll miss something? Here is the best tip we can offer you. Call Johanna! When you consider an interior designer is part of the equation of most every successful remodel, Johanna G. Seldes/IDC Interior Design Consulting is especially adept at design project management. Several clients will actually start with engaging their interior design professional; thus, the general contractor will have a clearer understanding of the entire project for bidding their proposal. Johanna G. Seldes/IDC Interior Design Consulting works closely with several general contractors and positions herself to make sure every single person working on your home is qualified for their part of the job successfully. With Johanna G. Seldes/IDC Interior Design Consulting not only will your home will look amazing, your remodel will be as stress-free as possible.

Contact Johanna today for your initial consultation.

Johanna G. Seldes, ASID IDC/Interior Design Consulting is a full service, award-winning Tampa Bay interior design firm that works with custom home builders, remodeling companies and individual clients. We provide interior design project management services throughout the entire construction process, including preconstruction design, selections, and installation.

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Patient, professional, and beyond value.... I cannot imagine having to do this with anyone else. Johanna is a diamond.  

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