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The process of hiring a contractor, and the right one, for your home remodeling is critical. However, many first time home renovators find the bidding process difficult. To be honest, it does seem a bit confusing. Especially for first-time renovators. So, how to get bids on your home renovation, the easy way?
Here are some great tips for getting bids and comparing contractor bids. Once you do that, you can begin your upcoming remodel on the right track.
1. Know which type of contractor you need
Based on your home renovation project, you should figure out which type of contractor will be more suitable. Which type of contractor do you want to hire — a general contractor, a specialized one, or a combination of the two?
For example, a general contractor typically provides and coordinates the labor, materials, and equipment required for a construction project. They are responsible for the entire home renovation — from conception to completion. Right from complete home remodels to minor repairs and home upgrades, a general contractor will oversee everything.
Hiring a general contractor is a good idea. Especially for large scale projects such as bathroom renovation or kitchen remodels. They will ensure that your home remodel matches the construction drawings and specifications to the T.
Your other option is hiring specialized contractors, depending on the scope of your home improvement project. These specific remodeling contractors complete certain tasks such as plumbing, roofing, paint jobs, heating and cooling, outdoor landscaping, installing solar energy panels, replacing windows and doors, installing light fixtures, and home insulation.
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2. Give details and description of your renovation project
You must know how to write a great project description; it’s part of your research on how to get bids on your home renovation, the easy way. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a professional writer to write project descriptions. Just follow some simple rules and you’re set to write a great description. Make sure it includes:
- Give a brief introduction of yourself and the project: Your prospective contractor will be eager to know who they’ll be working
- Clearly mention if you’re a first-time homebuyer or if this is your first-time experience with home remodeling projects.
- Provide a detailed description of the scope of the project, its size, and your requirements. Keep in mind that the more descriptive you are, the more will be the chances of getting a response from the best contractors.
- Explain the goals of the project. Whether you’re looking to retrofit windows, replace your roof, or install a new bathtub. Be as specific as possible.
- Be sure to give any supplemental information such as the materials you already have (lumber, sand, foliage, etc.), the materials you may want, the scope of work, your timeline and project completion date, and most importantly, your home renovation budget.
A detailed project description is great, especially for those with a very specific vision regarding their home design or construction budget.
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3. Make a list of important questions before you accept contractor bids
As you solicit your bids and begin accepting them, ask pertinent questions to help narrow down the pool of contractor candidates. Some of these include:
- Is the prospective contractor licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Will the contractor evaluate your home before submitting a bid, if so how? Online or over the phone?
- Do they have references and sound work experience?
- Will they clean the work site after the day’s work each day?
- Will the contractor communicate with you in a timely manner?
4. Get the bids
Always get at least three contractor bids in writing before finalizing on any one. The more bids you’ve received — the more will be your chances to hire the right person for the job. The contractor bids should be an officially documented agreement. This is necessary if, in the future, any disagreement crops up.
5. Compare contractor bids
Once you’ve got multiple bids, it’s time to choose the best contractor for your project. Here’s how:
- Compare the contractor estimates given by all the professionals. As you solicit three or more contractor bids, it will also give you a good idea of what your total renovation cost will be. Make sure that you have various contractors who bid a little too high or give you the lowest bid. You do want to save money but hiring over-enthusiastic contractors may lead to you losing money in the long run.
- Meet with the contractor before finalizing them. This is vital, especially if you’re planning a major remodel. After all, the contractor is a complete stranger who will be at your home for a good amount of time in the next couple of days. You must facilitate face-to-face interaction. It will help you determine whether or not you’ll be able to work well together. Nobody likes a difficult contractor. Ever.
- Be sure to assess their work portfolio, social media rating before accepting their contractor bid.
- Check on references that the contractor offered to gauge if the contractor behaved well and completed their project on time.
- Rely also on your gut feeling regarding their reliability, creativity, and flexibility.
It’s no secret that budgeting and hiring are two of the biggest stressors when it comes to home renovation, and a big part of hiring has to do with budget – which contractor is going to do the best job, without overcharging?
That’s where the bidding process comes in. It sounds simple enough, but there are some inherent problems which when left unaddressed, could result in costly surprises.
Once you understand how to get bids on your home renovation, the easy way, you can find a reliable pro who’ll save you all the unnecessary hassles. You can then enjoy peace of mind while your home renovation is managed by a good contractor.