Getting the Most Out of a Relationship With Your Contractor

By: Craig Berger

Remodeling or building a home is rewarding in the end, but the process can be cumbersome and irritating if you do not communicate effectively with your contractor. Not only that, but your home could end up costing more without including what you want. Here are a few reminders on how to get the most out of working with your contractor.

Establish Contractor Relationships

Whenever anyone is going to be doing any kind of major remodeling or construction on your home, you should get to know who he is and what kind of work he does. The two biggest questions you always need to ask are whether he is licensed and insured, and what the total price of the project would cost.

Licensing and insurance is extremely important in avoiding legal issues, while the quote should include all potential costs, not just how much the basics will be. It is always better to have the extra money set aside, since you will most likely go over budget to some degree.

What Else Has Your Contractor Done?

Besides making sure of some basic questions, you should also find out more from your contractors concerning the 'who' and 'what' of the project. For example, who is going to be in charge of the job? Getting to know the foreman and building a working relationship with him will help ensure that the project goes smoothly and according to your wishes. Learn how often he will be on site -- is he visiting every day, once a week or less?

In addition to when the foreman will be around supervising, how many people will be actively working on the project each day? This will give you a better estimate of how fast it will be finished. Moreover, has the contractor completed a similar project before? See if you can visit the site of the latest project that the contractor handled, or ask real estate professionals if he knows of this person and their company. Do your best to get references before hiring.

Other Questions To Get The Most Out Of Contractor Relationships

If you have very specific desires on this project, make sure to tell your contractor in detail. For instance, if you want it to be as green as possible, figure out whether you can use local materials or sustainable materials like reclaimed wood. Also, find out how the payment schedule will go, especially for long-term projects like building a new house.

Another question to ask is who will be in charge of the securing the area during off-work hours, as well as who to contact in case of an emergency. Learning as much as you can before starting any housing project will ultimately save you money if you establish a good relationship with your contractor.

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