Important Tips To Consider When Working With A Contractor

Working on any remodel project can feel overwhelming. Having the right team working for you will make the project run smoothly. I wanted to share my top tips on how to choose a contractor.

Do Your Research
We recommend you research any contractor, builder, designer, or tradesperson to see if they fit your needs. Make a list of what is important to you. You’ll be working with them for a long time, and it’s essential to have similar communication styles and preferences. Then, once you’ve established a reasonable comfort level, ask them to prepare a bid for your project. Its quality, communication, and how your contractor handles challenges are key here.

Thoroughly Review the Contract
Carefully examine the scope of work and terms and conditions outlined in the contract before signing. Ensure the pricing structure is clearly defined and includes detailed breakdowns of costs, including labor, materials, permits, and subcontractors. Although the legalese is not always easy to follow, do read the contract thoroughly and ask for clarification of anything you don’t understand.

The contract should include the following information: Detailed Scope of Work, Payment Method, Payment Schedule, Change Orders, Proposed Timeline, and Warranties. 

Make Sure Allowances Are Realistic
The contractor will provide project pricing long before many critical decisions have been made. For materials not yet selected, the contractor will include a ballpark figure as a placeholder for that undetermined cost. This is called an allowance. In the best-case scenario, the allowance amount will closely match the actual cost of the materials once they are chosen. But that is not always the case. At times, the allowances provided are not always sufficient to allow for the selection of high-quality items aligned with the home’s cost.

You will want to go and shop for light fixtures, hardware, and plumbing fixtures to see if they align with your taste and wants. If they don’t, you want to point out to the contractor that these are not aligned with what you want. They will either adjust or let you pay the difference.

Find out who will be onsite
Before choosing a contractor, find out who will be your main point of contact throughout the project and how often they will be on site. If the contractor you’re considering doesn’t have a designated job supervisor or foreman for each project, ask how they handle emails, communication, and change requests and how often they will meet with you for site visits during construction. If your chosen contractor doesn’t have a dedicated job supervisor, foreman, or client concierge, you will have to document and communicate project status updates continually to all parties. It is a critical part of the process. 

Be Prepared
Knowing your design goals and budget is key to having a project go well. If the contractor or builder doesn’t have a design team, you may want to consider hiring an Interior Designer to help. Here at Marker Girl, we can assist with blueprint reviews, full design details, selections, and finishes assistance. We also communicate with the contractor or builder throughout the design details.

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Meet Karen

Imagine walking into your living room to find your toddler covered in marker along with your furniture! My daughter's "Marker Art" was a defining moment. It was then that I reinvented my business to find the very best family-friendly furnishings and solutions for my client's homes.

My blog shares the very best of what I have learned about family-friendly design these past 18 years.


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