By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

Featured on the Show:

Click HERE to download Renee’s Construction Management Workbook

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • How to prepare mentally and physically before starting your project

  • How to find your contractor

  • How to to tell what contractor is the right fit

  • Schedule and timing

  • Setting up payment

The worse thing you can do on a project is assume.

In this episode, I’m going to be going over the basics of getting started, what questions to ask, and what to look out for.

Let’s start with the first step – finding your perfect contractor. There are contractors that take on all kinds of projects! Some only small, some for only specific projects. So the first thing is to make sure your contractor specializes in what kind of project you need to be done.

Please, do not start off by googling contractors! Please! You will have a mile-long list come up and not know who in the world to go with. My suggestion is to always ask around. Wherever and however you can. If you’re new to an area, go into a local store, ask a Sherwin Williams Store owner what painters come in and who to go with. But one thing to remember even when taking referrals is to make sure the project was RECENT! Don’t go off of a referral from your friend that had their work done 6 years ago. That company could have a whole different team by now.

After you find your ideal 3-5 names you want to research, then you can start Googling! When reading reviews, keep in mind, there’s always going to be bad reviews. Always. I would suggest noting them down and just asking the contractor about it. Chances are, it wasn’t even their fault. Once again, never assume!

Next, you will want to work on scheduling and timing. Figuring out the schedule is going to be important. Ask your contractor if they can at least give you a threshold, something to mentally start preparing for. They should be able to gauge how long certain projects will take them.

Then the question you need to ask is the payment schedule. Everyone runs their business differently (which drives me crazy) because there are very few industry standards.

And lastly, you want to meet them in person. Have them out to your house, let your spouse meet them, let your kids meet them. But the most important part is to make sure you like the contractor.

You should expect every project to take at least a month unless it’s a small painting project. So you better like the guy that’s coming to your house Mon-Fri. Maybe even Saturdays, for the next at least month. And remember, the person that’s selling the job to you, is not going to be the one that’s at your house day in and day out. So make sure to ask to spend time with the actual supervisor who will be the one spending time at your house.

Before the project starts, you want to prepare. And by that, I mean mentally and physically.

These things may sound small, but let me tell you, however trivial they may seem, they will all add to that level of aggravation that you will already be experiencing having these people in your home for an extended period of time.

Things like an entry point, protecting surfaces, cleaning up, facilities, smoking, what to do with your pets, and lastly, your punch list items. And if you’re not sure what that is, that’s the list you can give your contractor at the end when you see small things they may have missed, like a paint spot.

So preparation is key. These are things that if you take on in the right way, a communicative way, everyone wins. You guys are on the same team, with the same goals.

Thank you for listening!

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