Don’t start a reno project without first reading outdoor and garden expert, Owen Reeves’ tips for finding a good contractor.
1) DO your homework
This doesn’t just mean checking the website, although it’s a good start. Make phone calls, get recommendations and check out past projects. You wouldn’t buy a new house or car without ample research, and renovations – both indoor and out – are often one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make.
2) DON’T hire someone without a face-to-face meeting
As great as it is to do your homework, there’s still nothing that compares to a good old-fashioned meeting. This way you can both get a feel for each other, the contractor can see your space with you there to explain it, and you can hash out any details that would be impossible to do without visuals.
3) DO comparison shop
The biggest mistake a lot of people make is deciding they’re satisfied with the first contractor they speak to and moving forward without any comparison. Even if you absolutely love the first person you talk to, there’s nothing to lose by giving yourself a measuring stick of pricing. Get a few quotes and opinions before you start the project.
4) DON’T take the lowest offer
There’s usually a reason it’s the lowest. This isn’t a ‘hard and fast’ rule as a company may have a great rate and service, but if somebody comes in significantly lower than your other options, it’s good to wonder why. You want your work to last – it’ll still be cheaper to spend the extra money now than have to re-do everything again in a couple of years.
5) DO negotiate payment and sign a contract
You’re entering into a very expensive agreement – no matter how trustworthy someone seems you should always have a written and signed contract. You also shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate a pay schedule based on job completion. Someone who demands full payment up front should raise a red flag – paying partly up front, partly upon completion is the norm.
6) DON’T be a difficult customer
If you’ve followed all the rules above, your work should go well. Don’t take this as a license to ask the contractor to break code, add in free extras or give you a discount. Remember – you hired them because they’re experts, and you’ve done your homework – they probably know how to do the job better than you, so sit back and let them work without getting in the way!
Deck Makeover Credits
Deck built by:
Your Deck Company
Landscaping services provided by:
Dutch Touch Landscaping
Deck material supplied by:
Cedar and other supplies courtesy of:
Sod provided by:
All Green Sod
Topsoil & triple mix from:
Oshawa Sand & Gravel
Equipment loaned by:
Tim’s Rent All
Owen Reeves helps you cultivate your green thumb as our Resident Outdoor & Gardening Expert. Read more…
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