When it comes to doing home improvement projects, some people love the idea of doing everything themselves. However, unless you have a lot of experience in that specific area, you could find yourself biting off more than you can chew. When this happens, your home improvement project that was supposed to help save you money could end up costing you even more than it otherwise would have when working with a professional. On the other hand, sometimes working with a professional contractor can bring about challenges of its own. So to help ensure that your home improvement project is able to be completed correctly and within budget, here are three tips for protecting your finances when working with a contractor on a home improvement project.
Do Your Research Before Hiring Anyone
The first step to ensuring that you won’t be spending more money than you should be or that your money is being used effectively is to hire the right contractor in the first place. This means that you need to do your fair share of homework before you start paying a contractor. According to the FTC, the homework you should do should include asking around for references, checking websites and online reviews, seeing their certifications and licensing, and more. If anything you uncover while researching raises a red flag in your mind, consider working with a different contractor.
Once you’ve picked the contractor you want to work with, it’s important that you and your contractor document everything that you agree to. This means that you should have a contract that you both have signed and plans that you’ve both agreed to adhere to. But if things start to get a little rocky or you don’t think your contractor is living up to what he or she stated, Geoff Williams, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, shares that you should document that, too. Especially if you attempt to get in touch with your contractor and you can’t, make sure you document all your attempts and efforts, as those can be very important if you end up bringing a suit against the business.
Try To Maintain A Good Relationship With Your Contractor
Just like you don’t want to be taken advantage of and want to work with a contractor you can trust, most contractors want to feel like the work they’re doing is appreciated and respected and that you trust them to get the job done for you. To maintain this type of good relationship with your contractor, Angie’s List recommends that you don’t hover too much and that you ensure that your payments go through on time so that you aren’t the cause for your contractor to get off schedule or charge more money than was initially estimated.
To help you rest easy about your next contractor hire, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you protect your financial investment.