I don't want to be Tom Hanks in the Money Pit
February 25, 2007 8:13 AM Subscribe
How to hire and work with a contractor on a remodeling project
posted by bove to home & garden (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I have just bought our first home and we would like to get some remodeling done on the house before we move in. It is a medium to big job because we are redoing the kitchen, both bathrooms, changing some flooring, and building a laundry room.
We have received recommendations for 3 different contractors (although if anyone has knowledge of other contractors in Tucson we would love to get more names), and we want to start getting bids from them on the work. I have looked through other threads on remodeling or hiring a contractor and I haven’t seen this particular question.
How do you get each contractor to give you an accurate bid on a similar set of work? I have an architect friend doing some drawings that I can give them. I have watched a lot of home shows, so I feel like I have a pretty good sense for the steps that need to be taken in each room. What about writing that up and giving them a copy? Will contractors be offended with me trying to tell them what to do?
Should I have the contractor buy materials or should I? I know that he might be able to get them cheaper, but won’t he charge me a markup? Is it OK to ask him what his markup will be?
Also, once I have a bid, do I formally sign a contract with them? I have heard horror stories of contractors not finishing jobs, etc. How do I protect myself against this? How do I ensure the work is done both in a timely fashion and is high quality?