When you are ready to embark upon a renovation project for your home, you may think that this is something you can do yourself. And if you have successfully done some other home remodeling projects on your own, you may be convinced that it is not necessary to hire a contractor. However, it is important to consider whether this new project is something you want to tackle on your own or if you’d be better off hiring a contractor.
- What does a contractor do?
- Tips on Hiring a Contractor
- Which type of contractor do you need?
- Hiring a contractor has benefits for you
- Frequently Asked Questions
What does a contractor do?
A contractor will oversee every facet of your home improvement project. They hire and supervise other professionals whose talents and expertise are needed, such as electricians, plumbers, tile installers, and painters.
They have the required licenses and carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance should any injuries take place at the site. In many cases, such as when new windows or a new roof are installed, warranties will be void if the person doing the installation is not a certified professional. Also, should something go wrong, they will be responsible for the costs to fix it.
Tips on Hiring a Contractor
Now that you are convinced that a contractor is the way to go, Admer Construction Group recommends that you take the time to find the best one for the job you want to be done. Here are some ideas on how to go about it:
Be Clear on What You Want
If you want to add a bathroom, remodel your kitchen, or finish the basement, have a list of what that will involve, such as new plumbing, drywall, new cabinets, electrical, tiling, or paint. When you interview a potential contractor, you will get a better idea of what they can do if you can clearly explain what you want.
Get A Few Names
Talk to family members, friends, or neighbors who have had work done, and get recommendations. You should also read their reviews online or search for their information on the Better Business Bureau website. Have a talk with them, find out if they have done work that you could go and see, and ask how much they would charge. You might not get a precise quote, but you will get an idea as to whether this is someone you would feel comfortable working with or not.
Check Their Licenses
Working with a contractor that is licensed and insured is a must. Ask to see their licenses and look for expiration dates that are longer than what your project would take. Find out if the subcontractors they work with are also licensed and insured.
Talk About a Timeline
If you are planning on taking your family on vacation while the kitchen gets upgraded, ask about a timeline and see whether their expectations and yours as to the length of the project match.
Ask to Go to A Worksite
The project you are interested in will take place in the place where you live. You want to work with someone that can respect that. Going to a job they have in progress will give you a clear message as to how they work and what steps they take to protect the home.
It may take some time to find a contractor, but by taking these steps you will know you have found the right one.
Which type of contractor do you need?
Owning a house is fantastic and challenging, as there are many things to take care of to keep the house in good condition. If you know nothing about house maintenance and repairs, you should understand the types of contractors you can hire. Should a problem occur with your house, you need to know which of them to call.
The general contractor is the manager for renovation or building projects. He is in charge of hiring all specialists and suppliers (subcontractors) to complete the project.
If you don’t go completely off the grid, you need an electrician for electrical work in your home. He will manage the general electrical systems (outlets and lighting), and some specialize in various categories: fire alarm systems, cable TV, etc.
Carpenters are the wood masters of a building project, specializing in niches like framework, cabinetmaking, or finishes like crown molding. Often general contractors double as carpenters, as most renovation projects involve a fair bit of wood.
Plaster is one of the materials used to make walls. Plastering a wall takes more time and energy than drywalling. As a result, some plastering subcontractors are specialists in the procedure.
The typical wall in a house is the drywall. Drywall installation is something subcontractors specialize in.
Should you like bold décor in your home, you can consider wallpapers. For smooth and wrinkle-free results, we recommend you hire a wallpaper installer.
Once the walls go up, you need to hire a painter to give them the colors most suited for your home. As long as you don’t want intricate designs or special paints, you can paint the walls on your own.
If you want to have stonework in your home, you need to hire a mason. He will be able to install anything from stone pavers to marble countertops and stone-clad fireplace.
Central heating and air conditioning (HVAC) is one of the best systems for new homes. You can find heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractors who are experts in setting up, repairing, and maintaining every system component, from the furnace to ductwork included.
Demolition is fun to watch, but it can pose a significant risk for injuries when the wrong person is doing it. Keep everyone and everything safe and sound and hire a subcontractor specialized in demolition. He will know how to dismantle everything you no longer want in your house.
When you build your home from scratch or plan to add a new structure, you must contact an excavator. He will clear the earth from the land and prepare it to lay its foundation.
Some homeowners don’t prioritize roofing when renovating a home. However, it’s only a matter of time until you have to repair and replace the roof. The general contractor can hire a roofer for you. Some of the roofers out there also manage gutter problems.
When tilework on your floors doesn’t match your preferences, you should ask for advice from a floor laying contractor. He will recommend which carpet, vinyl, hardwood, etc., works best with your home.
Glass and glazing
Do you plan to update the windows? Discover what your house needs in terms of glass together with a glass and glazing contractor.
Whether you want to use concrete to decorate your house (concrete countertops, concrete flooring, etc.) or need a solid concrete foundation, you will have to take it to a concrete contractor.
Steelworkers take on large-scale projects more often than they take on residential projects. However, you can hire one to install steel beams during a renovation project.
Like steelworkers, ironworkers are a more common presence for the commercial industry than for the residential-building field. Should you want wrought-iron balustrades, you will need to hire ironworkers.
Your yard needs a little TLC, too—hire a landscaping contractor to help you plant new greenery or mulch your flowerbeds.
Special Trade Contractors
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are numerous special trade contractors. Posthole diggers, artificial turf installers, bowling alley installers, etc., are contractors who don’t fall into any of the categories above.
Hiring a contractor has benefits for you
Should you still sit on the fence about whether you should hire a contractor or not, please keep reading. We present you with the most important benefits you will enjoy when hiring contractors.
It saves you time
There’s no point in reminding you that time is money. Should you plan on embarking on an improvement/remodeling project on your own, you will need to sacrifice your much-precious time. Instead of spending your weekends on a short trip with your family, you will spend it trying to finish remodeling your house. Remember that, nine times out of ten, the construction project will take you longer than anticipated. However, when you hire a contractor, he will save you time and ensure great results too.
A contractor has the knowledge and skills
Whether you want to add a bedroom or install a kitchen, you need to know about home construction to have a safe new structure and respect all construction codes. The contractor is the person who knows the ins and outs of home construction.
A contractor has the tools, materials, and team
Most home projects require more than a pair of hands. Additionally, specific tools, construction materials, and specialized equipment are necessary for the job. A professional contractor can provide you with all, tools, and materials included. Also, contractors can buy materials wholesale, so they might get a better range of options and prices than you would.
A contractor manages the licenses and permits
Some work, such as electrical work and plumbing, requires performance from licensed professionals. Moreover, many municipalities ask you to have permits for specific forms of construction. A reliable contractor will know which permits you need and where to apply for them. Don’t forget that you can also get fined when not carrying the required licenses.
A contractor offers a warranty
If you make home improvements, you cannot have a warranty. Should anything go south, nobody will reimburse you for the money you’ve spent. Also, if you go with subpar construction, you could damage your house. On the other hand, if you hire a contractor, he will provide you warranty and take responsibility for shoddy work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the contractor employed or self-employed?
Independent contractors are self-employed workers who offer services for a company according to a contract for services. Independent contractors aren’t employees. Typically, they are highly skilled and present clients with rich experience and dedication.
What’s the best way to tell the contractor you no longer need his services?
When you are no longer interested in hiring a contractor, you can inform him with a short handwritten letter, a quick phone, or a brief email. Most contractors appreciate it when you also explain to them why you have changed your mind. Do it only if it sits well with you, though.
Is it ok to negotiate with a contractor?
It’s totally fine to negotiate with a contractor. However, you should try doing it as subtle as possible, so it doesn’t feel like a negotiation. When you’re trying to hire someone for their services, you can look for ways to get a lower price without offending them.
What’s the proper down payment for a contractor?
Before the contractor proceeds with work, he will likely ask you to secure its services with a down payment. Typically, you shouldn’t offer more than 10-20% of the entire cost of the job. Never pay the contractor more than 20% before them coming to your house.
Is it possible for a contractor to remove himself from a signed contract?
As long as the contractor hasn’t started work, he can cancel a signed contract. Should the contractor decide to back off an agreement you’ve signed, you must follow the state’s regulations to void the contract. Typically, you have three days to cancel the contract.