Woo hoo, we've finally hired a contractor for the dwelling. Two bathrooms will be redone, we will save the third bathroom till later. Part of the kitchen will be redone due to fung shui reasons, the basement will be torn out accomodating a wide open room for a pool table. The master bedroom will have a closet since we are using half a closet to expand the tiny shower out.
Things we've learnt from hiring a contractor.
- Have a clear and concise wish list. Go through each room of the house and make a list of what you want done.
- Make a before and after drawing / diagram either in visio or on paper with measurements of each room / bathroom which are going to have major renovations.
- Be patient with contractors when they are trying to give you estimates. Some take as long as three weeks to come back with an estimate, some take as little as three days.
- Have the contractor break down the cost for each room, some will give you a line item of each thing they are doing, and scrutinize that. One of the most expensive contractor wanted $1825 to install a closet light and closet shelving. What?!?!
- Don't pick the cheapest contractor and don't pick the most expensive contractor.
- Ask yourself whether you feel comfortable working with this contractor, see what vibes you receive from them. One HVAC person said three times to us that the house was way too big for the two of us, he was immediate off the list.
- Try to make clear what your budget is but don't tell them exactly what your budget is.
- When trying to trim cost, look again at your wish list and ask yourself whether you can do it yourself or do you really need a professional to do it for you.
- Check with the town hall to see what you can do and what you can't do and what the regulations are for that city.
- Be respectful to the city inspector, but don't act as if you are are a long time friend of theirs, they don't like that.
- Research things that you do not know so that when you ask the contractor questions, you can see if they really know their stuff or not.