All your homework is completed … you selected at least three contractors to talk to, you received a variety of references from each of them, and you’ve talked to them. You’re ready to make your decision. How are you going to evaluate all the information you received and what’s important?
Here are the top 9 things to consider to help you make your decision.
1. How do you feel about the feedback you received from the remodelers’ references? Were they open and direct? Did you feel they held information back? Were they enthusiastic talking about their contractor? Do you get the feeling that they want to help the remodeler out?
2. Were their proposals detailed? Was each step of the process spelled out? Do you know what to expect? Did you still have questions after receiving the proposal? Was the proposal written in construction terminology or legalize? Did you have to go to additional sources (showrooms, manufacturers’ websites) to get a better understanding of what we being proposed?
3. How do you feel about the pricing? Remember … cheapest isn’t best. If the price seems too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. If the contractor hasn’t laid out all of the details, you can expect additional costs as the project gets underway. Did the contractor speak freely about the possibility of additional change work orders? Did they describe to you exactly how they come up and what to expect?
4. Do you know what to expect along the way? Have you met the project manager? The contractor should be very detailed in describing how your job will be done and outlining steps and expectations and the schedule.
5. How is the project going to proceed? Have you been given a start and completion date and a schedule to follow the work by?
6. Are permits going to be registered with your town? Who’s going to handle that process? Note, most jobs do need permits, if so if the contractor says you don’t need them, don’t hesitate to ask the building official in your town.
7. Who will you be talking to during the course of your job? Did you meet them before signing the contract?
8. How have you been included in the design and proposal phase? If you haven’t been involved, you should consider that a red flag and walk away now before you sign the contract!
9. Have you established a rapport with the owner and the designer and feel comfortable working with them- remember, you will be married to them for a while. Divorce is painful.
What are your expectations once your project is started?
We’d love to know what you’re thinking…