Sunday, 24 April 2016

Tips to help you work with a contractor

Working on your house and performing home repair can be extremely rewarding. However, there will be times when you may not have the inclination, time, or skill to do the repair.  This is when you should hire a contractor. This blog will help you decide when and how to choose a home maintenance or repair contractor.

Decide if you really need a contractor

Deciding to use a contractor is often personal. Here are a few things you need to evaluate before making the decision:

1. Your level of comfort with the project at hand;
2. Your budget;
3. Your time.

If the task is beyond a simple home repair and involves complicated technical installations such as adding a sink or adding electrical circuits then you must first check if you need a permit from a local building department. You will not need a permit for certain home repairs but may require permission for “new work” particularly for heating, electrical, plumbing and cooling. In certain cases, permits require that a skilled, licensed contractor does the work to protect the public’s safety, health, and welfare.

Choosing the right contractor

This may be the toughest task but it’s actually pretty straight.  A great tip is choosing contractors you may also need on an emergency basis before you need them.  This is because if you have an urgent repair and are trying to find a professional quickly (who is also fair and skilled) you will not have the time to go through a very lengthy screening/ selection process.  And the most unwise thing you can ever do is choose someone from the Yellow Pages.

One of the best ways of selecting a possible contractor is by getting references from family, friends, or even a trustworthy realtor.

Evaluating the estimate

Getting bids from a subcontractor or general contractor should be based on the scope of work. Evaluate the estimates on the basis of similar scope. Let’s divide bid evaluation into categories and address every single component individually.

Scope of Work

This will define what the professional is going to do for you. Make sure it covers everything you want. It must be able to spell out any prep work, clean up, and safeguarding surrounding areas, etc.

Evaluating the scope of work of different contractors is essential. For a HVAC expert, try negotiating a fixed price. We advise you to pre-select an expert for emergency tasks. However, expect to pay extra for emergency calls on such repairs.

Choosing the right contractor will help you keep your HVAC system in perfect condition. However, if you feel paying a professional will cost you too much then make sure you are well prepared to take up the task in hand. Either way, it is best to be prepared!