I think about it every now and then. When I’m getting my TLC crew started on a new project at someone’s home – a basement renovation, let’s say – I think about the potential for bad things happening if it weren’t my crew getting started on the project.
I think about all the strangers that will be entering that family’s home on a daily basis for the duration of the project. I think about the potential for disruption of that family’s life. I think about the risk the family could be exposed to if they had selected a contractor without an established track record.
After all, when you’re allowing a group of strangers to traipse into your home everyday, there’s the potential for bad things happening if you haven’t been very careful in selecting your contractor. But a bit of caution and prudence in selecting and working with contractors can go a long way in assuring the job is completed smoothly and without complications.
Six Key Tips for Selecting and Working With Contractors:
Choose Carefully. Exercising caution in choosing a contractor is the first step in assuring the project will be headache-free. You can check for reviews of a contractor on places like Angie’s List, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. You can also ask the contractor to supply references from past customers. (If the contractor can’t or won’t do that, consider that to be a BIG RED warning flag!)
Control the Schedule. Make certain that the contractor’s schedule won’t throw your schedule into chaos. Before the job begins, establish when work can start and when it must stop each day. Get it in writing.
Key Control. Should you give the contractor keys to your home? This one’s a bit tricky, and really comes down to a judgment call. Giving the contractor a key will obviously be much more convenient, both for you and for the contractor. But are you comfortable giving the contractor access to your home when you’re away? If you’ve thoroughly vetted the contractor and they passed with flying colors, giving them a key should really be a non-issue.
Be Prudent with Valuables. No matter how trusted the contractor, it’s only common sense not to leave valuable items lying around in plain sight. Jewelry and other valuables should be removed, hidden or locked-away during the duration of the project.
Don’t Be a Middle Manager. If you have a problem with any of the contractor’s workers, don’t confront the workers directly. Instead, voice your dissatisfaction to the contractor. A reputable contractor will handle the problem, no matter the nature of your concern.
No Need for Lingering Concerns. At the completion of the project, consider having your locks and security system codes changed. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
And the Best Tip of All…
The best tip for eliminating contractor concerns is to hire TLC Inc. for your project. We have a reputation that’s unsurpassed among local contractors. And our decades-long track record speaks for itself.
But of course we can’t handle every project on the Eastern Seaboard!
So if you do need to hire another contractor, use the tips above. And even if you don’t observe all the tips, please don’t ignore tip #1: carefully vetting your contractor. If TLC won’t be handling your project, at least make sure that the contractor you choose is up to TLC standards. Do that, and your project is sure to be a headache-free success.