With a lot of home improvement and remodeling inspirations everywhere, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy. As you rummage through your home, you will find a room or two that you would like to remodel. And if you’re not handy with tools, you’re likely going to hire a remodeling contractor to get the job done.
Before you agree with the discounted remodeling deal that a contractor is trying to offer to you, think again. That “good deal” may actually turn into an expensive disaster when the remodel you have in mind turns out badly and the contractor is nowhere to be found after you’ve given the cash. So to make sure that you won’t get caught in a remodeling job gone wrong, here are four important pointers worth keeping in mind.
Research before proceeding with the remodel
You can reduce the possibility of hiring a bad remodeling contractor if you practice due diligence before proceeding with the work. This includes getting in touch with several contractors until you prune down your list into three strong candidates. The next step is to ask those potential contractors the right questions. It’s not enough that you just know if they are licensed or how much they charge. You also need to know the quality of their work, their local reputation, and if they have had any dissatisfied clients. Also, ask the contractors if they could provide you with proof of adequate insurance. If the proper policy is in place, you can be assured that you are protected in the event that a major problem arises.
Put everything in writing
Once you have selected a remodeling contractor, both of you should work on a written contract that includes the timeline for completion. When the project is underway, make sure to keep tabs on the days that they did not come to work, and take note if they informed you of such absence beforehand. If the contractor is not responsive when you make calls, this should be a red flag to you.
Additionally, make sure that they are not cutting corners when it comes to materials. All the products they are using on the project should be the ones that both of you have agreed upon. You should also pay attention to the cost of materials, as a couple of overruns can blast a hole in your pocket when the final bill arrives.
Act quickly when you find a problem
If you discover a problem during the remodel, immediately call the attention of the general contractor or supervisor and let him or her know what you’re not happy about. You have the right to set the expectation that you want the issue to be resolved at a certain amount of time so that regular work won’t be delayed.
Take legal actions if necessary
If the concern you’ve raised hasn’t been properly resolved in a reasonable time frame or you cannot reach the contractor, the next best step is for you to take legal action. Remember to go over your contract first so that you will know where to begin. Most contracts will indicate that before a homeowner could file a lawsuit, the conflict should be first resolved through mediation. However, if this does not pan out well in your case, the next action can be arbitration or a lawsuit.