When working with a contractor communication is the key to ensure the parties involved are all on the same wavelength in terms of expectations and budget. Working with a contractor doesn’t need to be a daunting experience. Here is advice on how to ensure that the experience runs as smoothly as possible:
Be Specific With Your Work Plan
Prior to seeking out bids, it’s important to have a clear sense of the work that you want to have done. This will ensure that your estimators represent the same work from each company so you are comparing apples to apples. Once you select a contractor, reiterate the work that is to be done. Make sure you are both on the same page in terms of project timeline, budget and work to be done.
Be Present for the Estimate
It is to your benefit to meet with an estimator to discuss the scope of your project. During your meeting, you can share your vision, learn more about their company and allow them to address any concerns you have. Because most contractors supervise multiple jobs, being available to meet with them, rather than playing phone tag will ensure a more efficient experience. A meeting will also allow them to take measurements and ask questions prior to providing you with a bid. Be mindful that a bid can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks, depending on the scope of your project. Putting together a bid requires a contractor to contact their vendors to determine cost of materials and estimate the time needed to complete a project.
Inform Contractors Who Submitted Bids of Your Choice
Yes, this means telling those that you didn’t go with. No one likes being told no, but not receiving an answer is worse than getting told no. While they’ll ultimately figure out that you have chosen someone else after not hearing back from you in a few weeks, they will be more likely to submit bids for future projects if you show that you respect their time.
Honor Contract Terms
Just as you expect a contractor to adhere to quotes and project timeline, it’s important that you supply payment on the date(s) promised. It goes without saying that if your employer was lax with your pay date, you would become frustrated. The same concept applies to your contractor.
Allow Your Contractor to Do the Job You Contracted Them to Do
If you’ve verified your contractor’s credentials and references and have them under contract, you have done your homework to ensure that they will finish the job to your specifications.
If you’ve been pleased with your contractor’s work, it’s important not to micromanage their project. Doing so can cause unneeded stress for both parties. By all means, supply your opinion when asked and don’t be afraid to ask for project updates.
Once the Job is Finished
If you love the work that’s been performed, share the positive feedback with your contractor, friends, family and neighbors. Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising for contractors. There are also several online platforms for you to share your experiences with your contractor including Angie’s List, Google Reviews, Kudzu, Facebook, Twitter and GuildQuality.