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TIPS

The dos and don’ts of working with contractors

Improving your home can be quite a stressful time, but the following can make sure that the whole process runs as smoothly as possible and you get the best from your contractor .

Research the Contractor

A good contractor will be happy to provide references, so ask about previous work they have done for other customers. If they are a member of a trade association, check the membership criteria, and that they really are a member.

Get More Than One Quote

You need to get several like for like detailed quotes, and not just a “Ball Park” figure. A good contractor would prefer this as it will enable them to identify exactly what the job will entail.

Legals

Beware of the legal requirements involved with carrying out home improvements. A good starting point would be the Local Authority Building Control website. Not many people are aware that some driveways can require planning permission

Draw Up a Contract

Draw up a contract which details the cost and timeframes that you are both happy with.

Talk Plain English

Make sure you fully understand what the contractor is telling you. A good contractor should explain things clearly, so there are no nasty surprises! If you are unhappy for some reason, do not be afraid to talk to your contractor.

Monitoring the Job

Keep tabs on how the job is going. It is a good idea to arrange regular catch up sessions with your contractor. If you feel that your agreements are not being met, tell the contractor as early as possible.

Dealing with Problems

If you have any questions, concerns or feel that your project is not going to plan you must be clear and explain what you want. Talk to the “person in charge” Ensure you speak to the foreman or site manager.