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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Choosing The Right Contractor For The Job

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Finding a reliable and competent contractor to undertake your repair or renovation job is so important. Even with a great contractor, this process can be stressful and expensive, and can often include unpleasant surprises. The right contractor can help homeowners with these types of situations and avert disaster. 

For projects that are too big or too complicated to do yourself, you need a general contractor. He or she will then hire subcontractors for specialty work, chosen specifically for their skill. They will know who is competent and experienced in completing your particular project. 

Make sure you know exactly what you hope to accomplish before you get any estimates. Your estimate will be more accurate if you are specific about time and materials. Talk to friends and neighbors and others that you trust and get recommendations for a high-quality contractor. Interview at least three candidates, ask lots of questions and get bids from each one. Don’t be afraid to negotiate! You will want to check their licensure, complaints, and litigation history to make sure they are who they claim to be, and the BBB is a great place to start. Checking their references will let you know what their track record is when it comes to job completion, and level of excellence as well. 

Make sure you know what the contractor’s area of expertise is. If you are renovating a bathroom or kitchen, you will want to work with a company that has a great track record here. If you are working on your decking or building a separate garage, you will want to employ someone that has done this kind of project in the past with impressive results. 

When you have chosen your contractor, expect him or her to be too busy to start right away. A contractor that is highly sought after is always a good sign. 

Make sure your contract is complete and clear, including deadlines, progress payments, and material lists. If anything is not documented, it will come down to your word against theirs if there is an issue. 

Most renovation projects will require permits, and you need to make sure that everything is in place before the work starts. Never start work without a permit just to save money, even if your contractor suggests it. Tearing something down after it is begun is a waste of money, and the contractor will not do it for free. In many cases, you can also incur fines.

No matter how diligent you and your contractor are in preparing for the job, expect surprises that will add to the costs. It is wise to expect to pay 10-15% more than your contract states. Even the best contractors can get busy with other things and find it difficult to come back for the final details, so ensure that you only make the final payment after all work is fully completed to your satisfaction as per your contract. 

SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is your full-service repair and renovation team. We are water damage and fire damage experts, as well, and we are here to help 24/7 with all your projects. 

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