Getting the Most Out of Working with Contractors

contractor concept

You may be thinking of finally pushing through with that postponed home remodeling project. Whether it’s residential roofing services, plumbing maintenance, or landscaping, contractors can step in to help you get the job done.

What are a few ways to get the most of your work with them?

Set project milestones

When working with contractors on any home improvement project, it’s important to set milestones. With each milestone completed, a batch of payment can follow. That helps ensure you get the most out of your hard-earned money.

But first, you have to sit down with your contractor and agree on the specific milestones that will be set. Additionally, don’t forget to discuss the criteria for satisfactory work.

If a contractor took more than a few shortcuts with a kitchen remodeling— resulting in low quality work — go back to your initial discussion. Remind them that payment will be transferred once the work is of a certain quality.

Be wary of allowances

When you’ve yet to decide on the range hood for your new kitchen, the contractor will likely set an allowance to account for that material in the itemized bid.

Since the specific item isn’t yet determined, there’s uncertainty as to how much the final expenses will be. That can be a quick way to veer significantly off-budget — potentially resulting in higher costs.

To avoid this, do your best to select all the necessary materials and equipment beforehand. Take note of specific details (e.g., size, volume, features) and the corresponding price tag.

Maintain a project record

Recalling project milestones and specific budget line items by memory is not the way to go. Even if you have a photographic memory, you’re bound to forget a few things.

Make sure to write things down in a notebook or journal. You can either opt for a digital or non-digital format — whatever works best for you. That being said, it may be easier to purchase an inexpensive physical notebook that you can quickly bring out when you’re checking the work.

That will be crucial in taking note of the project’s progress and special requests from either you or the contractor. As you jot down vital information, ensure that you correctly label each page with the date and time — so you can keep track of when a request or an idea was made.

Practice clear communication

shaking hands concept

It may seem obvious, but frequently reminding homeowners about this essential tip can help avoid major disputes down the road. With clear lines of communication, there are all sorts of ways a project can go wrong.

Make sure to allocate enough time to be present on-site and check in with contractors before they start getting things done. Ask what their preferred mode of communication is and exchange contact numbers.

However, avoid pestering them about project updates. It’s crucial to give contractors enough time and space to do their job well.

Don’t be rude, and make them feel welcome

Lastly, whatever you do, don’t be rude. Contractors are offering their services and expertise to help you out. Sure, you’re paying them for their trouble, but good old-fashioned decency and hospitality can go a long way.

Serve them some drinks after a long day’s work or engage them with some small talk. These are just a few things you can try doing.

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