In one of my previous articles, I wrote about “How to Select a Contractor” and hope you gained the insights as to the necessary steps to insure you are dealing with a reputable company. Now that you have 3-bids from reputable contractors, the real question now becomes who do you select and what are the attributes you need to know in your selection process, besides price? The lowest bid is never a good indicator as to value. The old saying goes that you “really get what you pay for” is true in this industry as there so many unknowns in remodeling.
The first step is to review their written proposal and make sure that the “Scope of Work” thoroughly covers every facet of the project.
The “Scope of Work” should list at a minimum, deconstruction procedures, drywall dust containment management, air-purification, project schedule, details and drawings of proposed work, pictures and photos of ideas, electrical, plumbing, material lists, installation procedures, production schedule, special conditions, special order products, work day times, parking, employee management, and sub-contractor’s schedules.
Be sure you have thoroughly discussed these details with your proposed contractors. A contractor that cares about your project takes the time to get to know you and will know how to articulate the real value of their services as well as the quality and skills they plan to bring to your project. It is worth every penny! Remember, this is your home and you are investing your time, your money and your trust, hence why the lowest bid is not worth it.
I would recommend to request a written proposal and a final meeting and not something e-mailed. If you were in the market to hire a restoration company to rebuild a valuable automobile, would an e-mail with a price and a contract suffice? Why risk anything less with your most valuable asset…your home.
Be sure to have a legal and binding contract to physically sign. Insure it spells out their legal entity, your payment schedule, insurance, allowances, scope of work, change orders, enforcement, your recourse rights, right of cancellation, 5- year guarantee and the contract is signed and you have a complete original.
Finally, be sure your remodeling contractor guarantees their work in writing for at least 5 years. Ask to see specifics. It should at least cover workmanship, structural and finish failures.
Finally, you should feel comfortable with your contractor. There needs to be a meeting of the minds and you should feel trust. Even a higher bid is worth the years of enjoyment in your home.