Choosing The Right Contractor
For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself – it’s finding the right contractor to do the job. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking down walls or retiling floors are straightforward tasks compared with the struggle of hiring a quality contractor who will perform at a high level from start to finish.
Finding the right person for the job is crucial for the success of a project. Although there may seem to be an endless amount of options, narrowing down this list to just one person is easier than most people think– here are some simple tips to help you choose the right contractor.
Know What You Want Before You Get Estimates
First things first: start with a plan and some ideas, don’t start by talking to contractors. You’ll get a more accurate estimate if you can be specific about what you want done and the materials you would like to use to make it happen.
Ask Friends, Relatives and Co-Workers for References
People in your neighborhood who have done similar projects are great resources. If you know anyone in the building trades, ask them as well. Employees of local hardware stores may also be able to provide contractor referrals.
Be Realistic About Availability
A contractor’s availability can depend on the time of year and where you live, but the best contractors have consistent work, so expect to wait a few months for your project to start. Three months is going to give them time to hopefully finish up their current project and get yours on the calendar, but if you can plan it six months out, that’s even better.
Ask What Work Will Be Done by Subcontractors
A large renovation may require the contractor to bring in subcontractors for specialized work such as electrical, plumbing or detailed carpentry. You’ll want to know when outside workers will be in the home, and you also want to know that your contractor will manage and supervise their work. Homeowners really should have as little interaction with the subcontractors as possible.
Ask How they Plan to Manage the Project
Project management is difficult, and old avenues such as daily meetings, phone calls and texts just don’t capture everything a contractor may need you to know (and vice versa) for the continuation of your project. Considering that they’ll be managing multiple projects at once, and will often be sending subcontractors to do work while they’re not there, so it’s important to make sure they have a clear way of communicating with all parties so that delays are minimal. Contractors who use communication software will be able to better manage their projects, so consider talking to a contractor who already uses this type of software– and if you’ve found the right contractor but they don’t use this software already, suggest they use a product like Pillar, built for both clients and contractors.
Pillar, as you may have figured out, is a communication software built to be used by both contractors and clients. Most other softwares in the industry focus solely on the contractor being able to manage their project with their workers, but don’t take into consideration that the client needs to be heavily involved in the scope of the project too. That’s why we built Pillar with the goal of it being simple and easy to learn, unlike other softwares that require some sort of training, and may not ever be used by clients. For more information about us, check out our website, or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.