When it comes to working with a general contractor, you need more nailed down than the drywall. Going into a working relationship means you have the highest of hopes. But it’s important to temper those hopes with a healthy dash of realism. There’s nothing wrong with hoping for the best as long as you prepare for the worst. If you have people who insist on prenuptial agreements before they marry the person they love and trust, then certainly there’s no excuse to hire a company without making sure the details of the agreement are in writing. Here are some of the details you need to hammer down.The ContractDon’t let the first worker set up for a day of work before you have a contract in place. There are various schools of thought when it comes to whether or not a homeowner should pay in advance, how much they should put down, but there is only one school of thought when it comes to making sure you have a contract: do it! This protects both you and the general contractor from future misunderstandings. Even the best working relationships can fall apart when it turns out that the parties aren’t on the same page. It helps a lot to have something you can go back to.Charge AuthorizationIf you’re a car owner, chances are you’ve had to visit the mechanic a time or two in your lifetime. Have you ever had that bad feeling where the final bill is way out of line with the initial estimate? What now? Well, you don’t want that to happen with your general contractor. When home remodeling and construction costs go over, it can cost you a fortune. Make sure there is something in writing that says the company has to get authorization from you before they add charges on to the initial estimate.GuaranteeNever hire a general contractor who is unwilling to stand behind his work. If you’re getting a new roof put on and it starts leaking in six months, who is going to pay to repair it? You? If you don’t have a guarantee in writing, that’s exactly who will be paying for it. It’s all well and good for a company to say they do quality work that they are proud to stand behind, but it’s quite another to actually do it. Make sure you have something you can present to them should you need repairs in the near future.
General Contractor, Nailed Down
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