Finding the right contractor to perform quality work on time can be a challenge for many property managers. It may also be a good idea to contact the Better Business Bureau for more information. Before you hire a contractor, make the following checklist part of your decision process. Remember, your business insurance will not cover the liability from a contractor’s negligence.
- Have a clear scope of work. This will allow the contractor to better understand your requirements
- Get more than one bid. However, don’t necessarily jump at the lowest bid. Our surveys have shown that people who hired the lowest bidder generally got poorer work.
- Do not rush the process. It might be good to meet with the contractor a number of times to make sure they are a good fit.
- Be cautious about getting big discounts on materials. Sometimes this can lead to poorer quality materials.
- If a contractor offers a discount, be careful; they may be cutting corners. It may be better to offer an incentive if the project comes in on budget and on time.
- It is common for a contractor to ask for 10% up front, but be careful. While some projects require a large initial payment to cover a deposit for products like cabinets or special-order ceramic tile, this doesn’t apply to commodity materials like roofing and lumber, which a legitimate contractor will usually purchase on account with at least 30 days to pay.