What are The Key Factors to Consider Before Engaging a Contractor?

There are so many aspects that go into the process of contracting a contractor and it’s always recommended to be well informed about the job at hand and to understand the expectations of each party involved. While the process of hiring a contractor is rather simple and straightforward, it is advisable to keep in mind some key factors before engaging a contractor. This guide is written to answer common questions and concerns about how to choose a contractor in Singapore. We’ll provide you with a checklist so that you can ensure you hire a quality contractor that will meet your needs.

Check Their Past Work

How has their previous work performed? Do they have expertise in the work you need done? Verify testimonials to learn more about the company’s products, craftsmanship, and customer service excellence. Ask them about their years in the company and reputation in the industry. It is best to hire a contractor with more than five years of expertise.

Check Their Insurance and Bonding

Verify the contractor’s insurance and bonding details. Request a certificate of insurance (COI) from the contractor, which should include the name of the insurer, the policy number, and the policy limits the contractor holds. To check sure the policy is still in force and to confirm the coverage, you can get in touch with the insurance provider directly. Dealings should not be made with contractors who lack the necessary insurance. You can be held responsible for incidents that take place on your property if the contractor is not insured.

Proper Permits

Before beginning construction, the majority of home improvement projects, if not all of them, need a permit. Never let a qualified contractor carry out unapproved work. In addition to breaking local laws, this could cost you money in the long term in the form of fines and more labor. If you ever decide to sell your house, unapproved work may also pose issues for you. A qualified contractor will ensure that your project has all required permissions. Additionally, contractors must give homeowners documentation of their liability insurance and workers compensation information. During the construction phase, it is crucial to understand what is covered by the contractor’s insurance and what is covered by your home’s insurance. If the contractor doesn’t pay, getting copies of all material receipts and a lien release from suppliers and subcontractors will safeguard you.

Get Multiple Estimates

Get written quotes from at least three contractors after speaking with many of them. When you receive various estimates, make sure you’re comparing like with like. Examine the building materials, construction techniques, schedules, and other elements that may differ by contractor. Be wary of estimates that are excessively high or low. Do not choose a contractor just based on price. The “low ball bid” isn’t always the best option and may result in subpar performance. To ensure that you are comparing the price for the same set of services, it is preferable to compare the actual bids. While working within your budget, a good contractor will also be realistic about the compromises that homeowners should and shouldn’t make. Poor workmanship can result in delays, which can increase costs by increasing the cost of moving during the renovation. The money you save on the contractor charge will be outweighed by the expense of paying a mortgage and rent on the temporary residence. It is important to communicate effectively, and it is preferable to spend a bit extra time with the individual who makes you feel most satisfied about completing the task.

Right Contractor for the Right Project

It’s crucial to pick the best contractor for your planned job. It’s not always a good idea to use the same contractor who renovated your neighbor’s master bathroom to build an extension to your house. Another crucial factor to take into account is finding a contractor who frequently works on projects of the same nature and size as yours. It is equally important to look into a possible contractor’s licenses, insurance, and prior complaints. The majority of general contractors and subcontractors ought to be licensed. Before employing any contractor, homeowners should verify that their license is active with their state’s licensing board. A qualified contractor should be able to give the client a copy of their license as well as the licenses of any significant subcontractors they frequently work with. Throughout this stage of the process, don’t forget to verify their references and online reviews. You may find out about the quality of the contractor’s work by speaking with previous customers who had the same type of renovation completed in their homes. To ensure the contractor is the best fit for your particular task, thoroughly analyze all references and evaluations.

Get Everything in Writing

Before work starts, be sure you have a thorough contract. Make sure to put everything in writing and that the contract is well-written and clear. If the project entails significant costs, think about having a lawyer analyze the proposed contract for your protection before you sign it.  All parties shall recognize any changes to the Agreement in writing. Request confirmation from the contractor that all necessary building permits have been secured. You must abide by the termination provision of a signed contract if you wish to cancel it. To guarantee you have documentation of the cancellation, written notice of the cancellation should be delivered via registered mail.

Detailed Contract & Set a Payment Schedule

Get a written contract that has been signed by both sides as soon as you have chosen the best contractor for the job. The contract should clearly and completely describe the project, including labor and material costs, payment schedule, start and completion dates, insurance proof, license information, and lien releases. As a result, homeowners won’t feel misled by contractors about extra or planned change costs throughout construction, allowing them to stay inside their budget and timeframe. Work with contractors to make sure they don’t alter the blueprints only to raise the price on a change order and offer full assistance during construction. The greatest method to establish a good connection and a successful renovation is to insist on a written contract.

Anticipate Delays

There may be circumstances in which your contractor is not to blame for delays. Even if the work is supposed to be completed by the date specified in your contract, unforeseen events like bad weather could cause it to be delayed. Recognize your limitations and be ready to modify your goals if necessary.

Don’t Pay Up-Front

Make partial payments till the project is finished. Make sure your checks are payable to the business and not to the individual, and avoid paying in cash. It is customary to pay one-third of the expected costs as a down payment for bigger projects. In this manner, your cashed check will serve as a receipt.

Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible

Local contractors are simpler to get in touch with if issues arise with the work in the future and are more likely to be knowledgeable about local building codes. Request the contractor’s actual address in your area. Be wary of anyone who knocks on doors or won’t leave a contract out overnight.

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