Without doubt hiring a contractor to build your home is like adding a temporary member to your family. There is a lot of interaction required between you and him. Therefore, it is important to find someone you can get along with and who will do the job right. To make an informed and intelligent decision, there are several key questions you should pose to the shortlisted contractors and compare their responses. All the more there are many mistakes which many homemakers commit, which you can avoid. Here are the top 10 mistakes which you can definitely avoid:
1. Never choose a contractor without speaking to his references: It is important to talk to people who have commissioned a similar kind of project to the contractor. Get the contact details of the customers with their phone numbers and verify their experience with the said contractor.
2. Never forget to ask him what his plans are: When you are interviewing the contractor, you must ask him how he plans to handle the supervision of the site. How many projects he handles at one time will also determine the time he spends on yours. Who will oversee the sub-contractors in the absence of the contractor? A site supervisor who is trustworthy and accountable should be on hand at all times.
3. Never hire without knowing a fixed start and completion date: These dates should be included in the formal written agreement, along with a timetable of the work that will be executed and a material list of everything that will be needed.
4. Never be in a hurry to sign the contract: It is a rule of thumb to hold off signing a contract until it includes everything you want and after you have understood all the terms and conditions. It is also good practice to keep a record of all payments and invoices in case a dispute needs to be settled. Make sure there are guarantees against plumbing leakages and terrace dampness which are common sore points after a year or so from the completion of the home.
5. Never forget to ask for an itemized price estimate: You should always request an itemized price estimate from each contractor after defining clearly the finishes and specification that you would like in your home. If you miss out any details in the specifications, each of those will be added to the list of extra items at the end of the project, thus, burning a hole in your pocket.
6. Do not forget to negotiate the payment schedule: You need to negotiate the payment schedule so that you don’t pay more than the tasks completed at any given time. The more you can manage to keep in your pocket for as long as possible, the better. Also keep the value of the mobilization advance to the minimum as you don’t want to place your money in the hands of someone who you can’t contact if, say, they never show up.
7. Never forget to check the contractor’s agreements with the sub-contractors: You need to check the agreements that the contractor has drawn up with his sub-contractors so that you have no liability in case he does not make payments to them. Also keep a copy of the insurance cover provided to the labor force against any accidents specific to your site.
8. Don’t forget to address the usage of electricity and water during construction: It will definitely be an unpleasant surprise if you find that the contractor has left a huge liability for you in the form of electricity and water bills. Such expenses during construction should be a part of the contractor’s cost and all paid bills should be submitted to the owner periodically.
9. Do not forget the compensation clause in case of delays: Liquidated dames caused in the case of an unusual delay in the project should be discussed and noted before you finally select the contractor. A timeline has to be followed strictly with meetings relating to the progress of work every week, month or as convenient.
10. Never pay in cash: Pay as much as you can by cheques, based on invoices raised on the name of the contractor’s company. This will make resolving disputes or recovering money easier. The larger the values paid via cheques with the required taxes, safer is your money as you can then challenge these in court against the signed contract.
To get more information & assistance, please submit the form below and our specialist will get in touch with you at the earliest.