MEG & JOE'S TOP 10 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN WORKING WITH A CONTRACTOR
Building a home or renovating an existing space equal parts exciting and terrifying. You have to put a lot of trust into the people you hire to get the space of your dreams. Don't worry -- it CAN be done, and it doesn't have to be like the stories you hear about from your neighbors! It's important to be prepared and know how to work with a contractor to make the process as pain free as possible. Here are Joe and my top 10 tips to make it happen:
1. Use Referrals
Especially if you're new to the area, you might not have a list of contractors you're familiar with. When we moved to Indiana, the first thing we did was lots of research and asked a ton of neighbors for referrals! Ultimately, using contractors is a very personal process.
2. Get Multiple Quotes
It's always a good idea to get multiple quotes from different contractors to compare pricing. Some contractors can do more than others and charge different pricing depending on the scale of the work!
3. Ask To See Photos Of Similar Projects
You only want to do construction once, so make sure you go with something you're going to love! I always ask to see examples of similar spaces just to see what contractors finishes,
4. Think Through The Small Things
When you're working with a contractor, you want to make sure you come to them with really clear plans of what you're looking for them to do. I've noticed that the miscommunication happens the most when you're not clear on what you need them to do/the look that you're going for.
5. Work With An Interior Designer
Don't sweat, not everyone knows exactly what they're looking for on each little thing when they're taking on a huge renovation. That's why, in my opinion, it's SO important to work with an interior designer. They'll help walk you through all the little things, like finishes, elevations, overall floor plans, etc. They'll be invaluable in making some of those decisions and knowing exactly how to communicate to your contractor what you want on the front end
6. Know What The Project Is Worth
Research is your best friend! Know what your project is worth and have realistic expectations for how much your bid is going to come back at.
7. Look At The Bid Line-By-Line
Once you get your bid back, make sure you go line-by-line to make sure there are no duplicates for labor charges, additional things you need that they didn't add, etc. If the bid came back higher than you were looking to spend, this is another way to really look at how you can cut costs to get you to the budget you need. This process will also hopefully the need for change orders throughout the project and keep the budget
8. Settle On A Price And Timeframe
Once you've looked through the bid, make sure you've settled on the final costs and lay out a timeframe for the project to be completed. This will help manage expectations as well as help the communication process.
9. Communicate Regularly
As the project begins, make sure you communicate regularly with your contractor. Since you did so much work on the front end before accepting the bid, there shouldn't be tons of questions or changes to be made during the project! I've learned that communicating clearly and decisively goes a long way with contractors. They want to get this project done as badly as you do! It takes work on both ends to make sure all items are finalized and the next phase of the project is ready to move forward.
10. Celebrate Your Win Together!
Making these big renovations is challenging, so celebrate your wins together! Your project is going to be everything you dream of for the space and more, and that's worth celebrating.
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