The Best Way to Deal with Contractors to Ensure a Hiccup-Free Project

Whether you’re adding on or completely overhauling a room in your home, you may be thinking of hiring a contractor. Hiring a pro doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are our best tips on handling contractors.

1. Pay Your Contractor in Portions

Do not, do not, do not pay for your project in full before the project begins! Doing so can cost you the project and leaves to incentive for the contractor to get the job done right and on time. Most companies will allow for you to pay a portion of the project’s total cost before the start, a portion during and portion once it’s all complete. If your project is large, you may pay 10 percent upon signing the contract, followed by three milestone payments of 25 percent over the duration of the project. The final 15 percent is often due upon completion of the project. Use the milestone payments as a time to review the project’s status and ensure your expectations and the contract standards are being met.

Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

2. Discuss Time & Expected Completion Date

If you’d like the work to be done during a particular window of time or have other requests, discuss them with the contractor beforehand. Setting your expectations before any work begins is the best way to prevent misunderstandings in the future.

3. Set Your Expectations from the Start

Understand what the contractor expects from you. For example, do you need to clear the room before work begins? Will you need to board your pet? Get everything in writing: The contract should include a payment schedule, proof of insurance (liability and workers’ compensation), start and completion dates and lien releases from all subcontractors and suppliers, which is obtained by the contractor.


4. Get Everything in Writing

Be sure to get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the project, explaining the materials to be used and what is being subcontracted. Keep in mind, the description will not cover any unexpected work uncovered during the renovation. You will also want to get:

  • All building permits that will be obtained by the contractor and reassurance that the work will be compliant with current building codes.
  • A statement of warranties, including what is covered and for how long.
  • A statement of contractor’s liability and property damage insurance.
  • Price and terms of payment

About Our Team

The Sherri Patterson Team specializes in residential real estate and relocation, with a combined 50+ years of experience serving the Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties. We work directly with hospitals, physicians and medical professionals. Whether you're looking to buy, sell or relocate to the Greater Sacramento area, we are the premier real estate team of choice. Our office is located at Keller Williams in Folsom, CA.