It’s tough to find the right contractor for the job. You can start by asking friends for recommendations, checking online reviews, and even visiting potential contractors’ job sites to get a glimpse of how they work. Once you narrow down the choices, you can meet with potential contractors, discuss remodeling options, map out a plan, and negotiate a contract.
Before you scribble your signature on the dotted line, though, keep these things in mind to ensure that your interests are protected:
- Your contractor is not the only one in town – If you choose a contractor and things break down in negotiations, don’t hesitate to go back to the selection process. There are plenty of contractors, and it’s better to be satisfied before starting the remodel.
- Your work may be sub-contracted – Most contractors are too busy to do the work on their own, so they will sub-contract with workers and supervise their progress. Find out more about your contractors’ team before the project kicks off, and don’t expect your contractor to be the one doing the hammering.
- Expect markups – Contractors need to make a living, so expect a small markup on supplies, appliances, cabinetry, flooring, and more. As long as the mark up is not excessive, don’t fret. The markups may even balance out if your contractor is able to buy in bulk and get items at a discount.
- Prepare to make a hefty deposit – Contractors naturally want earnest money before they get started, but don’t be taken advantage of. There is a law in every state that limits the amount of deposits that contractors can ask for before beginning a project. Find out about the laws that apply in your state.
Proceed to hire a contractor only if you are fine with their terms or conditions. If something seems out of line, take your time and look for an alternative. If you live near Seattle, there are plenty of licensed, reputable Seattle remodeling contractors to pick from. Choose carefully, making sure to check references and communicate terms clearly before getting started.