Many homeowners wanting to increase the value of their home are interested in the safest, cost-effective, professional approach. Hiring the right general contractor also means trusting their team. An on-board designer can truly bring a unique quality to a home. However, many homeowners have bad experiences when hiring a general contractor to make improvements. These are the top five mistakes that are commonly made when hiring a general contractor:
1. Hiring the lowest bidder.
Imagine choosing the cheapest surgeon to do a triple bypass. It’s possible to get what you pay for. Go for a contractor that has a realistic bid.
2. Not getting a written contract.
While some contractors may balk at this, a written contract that is dated and signed by both parties is essential for details such as the payment schedule, the general plans, and completion date.
3. A large down payment.
10% is a standard down payment; many times a large down payment indicates that a company is unstable financially. Also, never write a check to the contractor instead of the company.
4. Not having a guarantee.
Make sure that there is a warranty in writing. A two-year guarantee is the best option, although many contractors are only willing to offer a one year. Along with the duration, the warranty should state what is covered.
5. Not checking references.
A general contractor can either improve the house or do a lot of damage. Don’t be afraid to talk to previous clients and ask about their experiences. This can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
While choosing a contractor can be a difficult process, these five steps are warning signs that homeowners should look out for. While these are general guides, always look for a general contractor that you are comfortable with.