Category Archives: Your Contractor

How to Get Value From Your Contractor

When hiring a contractor, be they a builder, plumber or electrician, it is natural to want to get your money’s worth. Below are some useful pointers on how to ensure that you get the best possible performance from your contractor and not compromise their ability to do the job correctly.

The first and perhaps most important thing to do is ask for and listen to their advice and benefit from their experience. Chances are that your contractor has been working in their chosen field for close to a decade or more and will have a wealth of first-hand knowledge at their disposal. This means that they will often have insights into that you may not have been able to acquire through your own research. That said, it never hurts to get a second opinion, so if you feel that one of their recommendations is unwise, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

Another great tactic is to work with them to set clear deadlines that are not unrealistically optimistic. Often, a contractor can be working on several jobs at once and can encounter unexpected delays due to problems with other projects or just the sheer volume of work. Simply tempering your expectations can save a lot of stress and hassle down the line. A great way to avoid this problem is by scheduling work for the off-season (namely winter), when they will have far fewer customers. Not only will this avoid potential foul-ups when other commitments put pressure on your contractor’s limited time, but at this time of year, they may also be able to obtain materials from wholesalers for a reduced cost, giving a significant boost to your budget.

construction-loansBe honest and open about your budget and when handling payments. This will ensure that both parties will be on the same page when it comes to realizing the final design of the project. Thus, the contractor will have a good idea of what equipment and materials they should be looking to obtain so that they don’t place an unnecessary strain on your finances. Being honest and punctual with payments will also help develop a good working relationship with the contractor, meaning that they will be less likely to regard you as an ‘unreliable’ client who is not worth their full attention.

Lastly, we strongly recommend that you leave them to their work and minimize unwarranted interruptions. Although it may be tempting to spend the day shooting the breeze with them, keep in mind that they are on the clock. By disturbing them in the middle of their work, you are only cutting into your own wallet. That is not to say you should be unavailable however; making sure that they have at least one point of contact to reach you at any time of the day is paramount to remaining ‘in the loop’ with the progression of the project. Additionally, it will give you the opportunity to respond quickly in the event of an emergency and minimize avoidable expenses.