There are a few secrets in the construction business that aren’t well-known to outsiders. If you’re in the market for a remodeling contractor, here are just five things to bear in mind before you sign any work agreements.
1. They might not be licensed.
Only a few states require their contractors to be licensed. While a lack of accreditation doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t do the job, if your contractor having official training or work experience is important to you, make sure you ask to see their documents in advance.
2. They might outsource your remodeling project to others.
Many contractors juggle multiple projects at once, so unless you specifically request their oversight on your home, they might pawn the job off on a sub-contractor or assisting team. Ask your contractor about their work schedule before you begin, or put it in your contact that they’re the only ones who can make decisions about your renovation.
3. There’s no such thing as an official contractor contract.
Speaking of contracts, never be fooled by a contractor who tells you that their written agreement is “official” or even “standard.” While some terms and conditions might be more common than others, every contractor makes, finds or downloads their own contract, so nothing is industry-mandated. Everything is negotiable. Wield this knowledge freely when deciding on budgets, schedules and materials.
4. They aren’t designers.
Many contractors will try to “upsell” design elements to increase the duration of the renovation project and make more money for themselves. What they won’t tell you, however, is that their design sense isn’t any better than yours, so take their advice with a grain of salt. Their suggestions might be genuinely useful, but they might be unnecessary and money-motivated, too.
5. They can stop work for health and safety reasons.
While they might not be regulated by any major organization, contractors are bound by state and federal laws when it comes to workplace safety, so they’re legally obligated to stop work if your home creates a dangerous or hazardous environment. This means you need to spray for termites before your renovation starts.
These are just a few things that your contractor might not mention when you hire them. If you want to ensure that you get the fairest, most affordable deal, keep these things in mind as you negotiate.