Planning a Home Renovation project? Choosing the right Florida Contractor is one of the most important decisions you will need to make. Vet their experience and quality of work ahead of time, agree on a scope of the project in writing, what is expected with a timeline, and whether the contractor is licensed and insured in case of any problems that may arise.
Here is a list of the Top 10 Tips to think about before hiring a Contractor:
- Check Past Work - were you referred by a friend or acquaintance? Ask for any references and pictures from past clients to find out about their reputation.
- Hire A Local Contractor - A Contractor who knows the local building codes and permit procedures will save you both time and money for your project.
- Get A Few Estimates In Writing - Look at the materials and timelines and compare them among a few different Contractors. Ask questions.
- Make Sure They Are Licensed and Insured - What happens if there is an accident on your property? Make sure the Contractor is both Licensed and Insured and ask for a Certificate of Insurance at the beginning of the job. Each county or State should have an easy way to look up their license status from home. If not, call to find out how to verify.
- Don't Pay Everything Up Front - Do not pay in cash and only pay a % up front. You don't want to add another story to your life about how "that contractor took your money and walked."
- Right To Terminate - Can you cancel the contract without any penalty? Read the fine print and understand your local laws to find out your rights.
- Take Your Time - Don't feel pressured into making a decision. Do your due diligence if you have time, talk to referrals, review estimates, and make a sound decision.
- Everything in Writing - This is the most important. Get details, payment schedule, timelines, guarantees, permit info, and more in writing. Set expectations ahead of time and hopefully things will go smoothly.
- Expect Delays - Almost every contractor job has delays. There are many things that could delay your project including the weather, supply shortage, inspections, and more. Consider this when starting your project so you can anticipate the timeline and expectations moving forward.
- Keep Records - Start a file and keep copies of all estimates, contracts, payments, insurance, correspondence, guarantees so you can easily refer to them when needed.