Working with Contractors: Rehabbers who Research save Money $$!!!
Helpful tips to keep in mind:
First time Rehabbers and Renovators have a lot to research and Learn when it comes to learning the business. One important aspect that comes with the industry is working with Contractors. Here are some guidelines and very important things to know and ask when finding the right contractor for you.
There are different types of contractors; General Contractor-who manages all aspects of a project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits and scheduling inspections
Specialty Contractor- installs specific products like cabinets and bathroom fixtures.
Architect- Who designs homes, additions and major renovations, especially ones involving structural changes
Designer/ Build Contractor- provide both services
Before you hire your contractor:
Get Estimates: it’s important to do your research and get written estimates from multiple firms. Don’t choose the lowest bidder, this may end up costing you more in the end. Ask for explanation to see if there’s reason for difference in pricing.
Insurance: Does the contractor have personal liability, worker’s compensation and or property damage coverage.
Paper Trail: Be sure to always keep a paper trail and document anything when it comes to Contracts, Work Change Orders, Record of all Payments this includes copies of receipts and any payments made.
Ask Key Questions:
How Long have you been in the business?? If your gut is telling you to go with a contractor in question, try starting them off with something small to see how they handle the job.
Do you have a Contracting License? Depending on the city, state and county; requirements for licensing and alternative credentialing may vary
Can I see your Certificate of Insurance? Verify the credentials are legit
Will you obtain the permits and set up the inspections required for the job?? See if the contractor will handle this or if you are left up to your own devices. In some cases, its true how they say “it’s not what you know it who you know” as corrupt as it may sound, some contractors know inspectors and have good relationships with certain departments you may be working with they can also have a lot of knowledge on retrieving these permits that will make this easier for you.
What is our timeline for completion? It’s important to find out the following; are they working on any other projects for any other clients. Are there any current bids that haven’t been finalized? Necessary changes to timeline should always be addressed.
Do you have a payment schedule? Some contractors may go by there scope of work and or “Draw Schedule” which is an itemized spreadsheet that includes which part of the project addresses specific line items for example: Draw 1 – Waterproofing, Draw 2- Electric, HVAC, Plumbing, Draw 3- Landscaping. Of course, this would be more detailed and in depth but this is to give you an idea.
Do you have a Dedicated Team? Some teams have a project manager, what will he/she observe every day? Wil there be subcontractors? Will there be different crew members every day or the same workers on the regular
How will we communicate? A big thing is communication with your contractor, how will they be available? Will you be able to call, email and or have a weekly meet up while working on your project?
These are all very important things to keep in mind when finding the contractor that fits your job. Remember you’re not being too picky this is an investment that could make or break you. It’s always good to do your research and ask questions before you make a big decision. And regardless of what people may say, no question is a stupid question. People learn new things every day, so never doubt your instinct if something smells fishy. Hope this helps to get some insight on Choosing your contractor & Good Luck Rehabbers/Renovators!!!