Image credits: https://in.pinterest.com/thisoldhouse/
Just because you have hired a contractor doesn’t mean that your project will go smoothly. Whether you are designing something from scratch or handling a remodeling project, it’s much easier to nip any potential problems in the bud when you stay proactive about checking your contractor’s work.
While contractors are supposed to keep a handle on everything going on the site, you must stay in constant touch and ensure clear communications so that you don’t have to pay for errors – literally.
Image Credits: http://www.fortunebuilders.com/
1. Avoid Guess Work
When creating an estimate for a job, don’t go with guesswork. If you haven’t chosen the right plumbing hardware, don’t let the contractor put any abstract figure there. His estimate may be far lower than what you wind up spending because there is a wide range of price points for these products. Sort out all of your material and product selections before the contractor gives you an itemized bid for the job. Otherwise, shop enough to give the contractor an accurate ballpark price for the materials you’re considering.
2. Communication is the Key
Ask the contractor how he prefers to communicate with you, and then make sure you create a routine for effective communications. Try to meet with the project leader at least once a day. This is an opportunity for you to hear progress reports and find out what work is scheduled over the coming days — and to ask your questions and voice any concerns you have.
3. Maintain Fail-Proof Records
There will be a lot of things you will decide on the job, and a lot of changes that will come in as and when the project proceeds. Record progress and note things you want to ask your contractor. Also, jot down changes, product order numbers, change in delivery timings and upcoming delivery dates. A journal helps keep communication clear and provides a record of who said what when — which could help you iron out disputes later on. Your team may encounter unforeseen structural issues, or you may decide to include additional work as the project evolves. Any good contractor can handle these changes — just make sure that he bids them in writing first, and these go into your records.
4. Check the Progress of the Work Regularly
Make it a habit of checking the work done by the contractor on a regular basis. A good time to check this would be when the contractor’s crew has left for the day. Do make a note of how much work is completed and see if the progress is as per the schedule. There will be times when the work might take longer than the timeframe committed by the contractor. In such instances, feel free to bring this up with the contractor and question him. Also, make sure you compare the model numbers / brands of the fixtures and fittings sourced by the contractor to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. Lastly, if you feel that the quality of the workmanship isn’t up to mark, feel free to bring it up with the contractor. Remember – you are the client and you have the right to good work.
5. Don’t Default on Payments
Decide beforehand how you will schedule payments and keep it realistic. Never put down more than 10% upfront; any more than that is too much cash to hand over before any work is complete. Instead, create a series of payments to be made when certain aspects of the job are completed. Break up payments in three equal installments, with the last payment to be made after the project is complete, and after you and your contractor agree the work is satisfactory. Make sure that the payments happen timely, or else you lose the edge of questioning your contractor when there are delays in delivery timelines.