Hiring  A Contractor

In the weeks to come we will be providing examples of how to locate a contractor, check them out, write a contract that works, and even who cleans up the mess. We are typing as fast as we can, and we thank you for your patience.

An overview:

1. How do I locate a contractor? Ask friends and acquaintances for referrals. Look in the yellow pages. Check with a local builder…go to the construction trailer and ask the superintendent for some names and phone numbers of subcontractors he would recommend.

2. How do I know if they are good? Check other jobs he has worked on. Ask those homeowners their opinion. Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints.

3. Get it in writing. Be sure to get everything in writing. In construction there are 1000’s of variables, the more details you have written in the contract, the less chance for a misunderstanding.

4. Payment. Remember, the contractor will always cry poor. You will want to pay on a draw schedule that is fair to both parties. Your contractor does not usually deserve more than 10% up front, even though he may ask for more. Always have the draw schedule reflect the amount of work done. You also need to have a substantial amount left for the final draw (30%+-) to ensure positive performance. If you promise to pay on time, and actually do, a draw schedule that favors you will be acceptable to him.

5. Cleanup. Make it part of the contract that he cleans up daily, and removes all of his trash at the end of the project…before final payment.

More coming. Bookmark us so you can find us when you need us.


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