10 Topics To Discuss With Contractors Before Work Begins
Hiring a contractor to do renovation or remodeling work on your home can be a stressful time. Many of these stresses can be alleviated by having a frank discussion with your contractor before the work even starts.
Before final paperwork is signed for any workers support on your property, discuss these 10 topics to ensure the job will go smoothly and be a positive experience for everyone affected.
1. Contract, Billing, and Time
Understand what things in the contract mean and what the expectations are for potential overages. Is there leeway in the budget for unforeseen circumstances or costs in materials? All these things need to be spelled out clearly at the start.
Schedule a specific time to talk with the contractor or his representative to get information about the project. If a phone call is not easy to schedule, a daily e-mail can be used to help keep communication.
3. Schedule Meetings
While there should be regular communication, a walk-through meeting should occur at regular intervals during the project. This ensures that everyone is still on the same track and there will be no surprises.
4. When Will They Work?
Nothing can cause more tension than expecting the team to be there every day from 8 to 5 but they only show up from 9 to 3. The same problem happens if the homeowner thinks workers will only come after 10 AM what they show up at 7 AM to get started. Get everyone on the same page at the start so everyone can prepare properly.
5. Access to the Property
Will they get a key to access the property whenever necessary and how will you deal with any security systems in place? An excellent option is to program in a temporary code specifically for use by the leader and his crew. It can be deleted after the work is done.
6. Vehicle Parking
During the renovation or remodeling process, additional vehicles will be outside your house. Gain permission early from neighbors to have them park up and down the street and communicate clearly to the contracting team where they are allowed to put their vehicles. Keep in mind the local laws about side street parking and when trash and recycling are picked up.
7. Issues with Neighbors
It is the homeowner’s job to inform neighbors of upcoming work that may disrupt their lives in some way. If anything is likely to be a problem, communicate this to the contractors and work teams so they can attempt to stave off trouble during the job.
8. Utility Access
Even if the remodeling work does not directly affect plumbing or electrical systems, safety protocol requires that they know exactly how to shut these off if they have to. This should be communicated directly to them at the start of the work instead of left to chance.
9. Landscape and Property Protection
Walk through the house and yard with the team leader to find out what you need to move out of the way and what protection you are expected to put into place for gardens or interior structures. Remember that the workmen will lead some area where they can pile materials that may become damaged during the construction process.
If you have pets that will live in the house during the construction process, it is primarily your responsibility to corral them so they stay safe. Contractors should not be expected to work around pets or be responsible for making sure they do not get out of doors.