You've done your research and finally hired a contractor for your home building or remodeling project, your work doesn't end there! In fact the real work is about to begin and when the on ground construction commences so will your monitoring of the work to make sure that things stay on track, follow a schedule and quality controls are enforced for a great end result. So what exactly do you need to do? Here are a few tips.
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Keep Detailed Records
When we say detailed we do mean it! Keep your paperwork in order and filed systematically so that you can access it easily. A good thing to do is keep scanned soft copies as well as photocopies of important documents like your actual contract, receipts, bills etc., so you don't have to carry the originals around with you and risk misplacing them, but you still have access to information quickly.
Keep track of any change orders that record changes in design and the ensuing costs with a record of the dates changes were made and the expected delay if any in the completion date as a result. Keeping a journal/log of phone calls, face to face conversations and on site activities with corresponding photographs is also a great way to keep track of how the work progresses. A journal/log will help you keep a detailed record and will be especially important in case of any problems with the contractor during the construction itself and afterwards as well.
Keep a detailed record of all activities
Pay Only When Satisfied
The chances that a problem will be rectified post payment being received by the contractor are slim. Any work that is not up to standard or merchandise that is not of a quality promised should be repaired, upgraded and rectified before you pay for it in full. Withholding payment is your right and provides a strong monetary incentive to the contractor to fix mistakes quickly.
Another prudent practice is to check if all sub-contractors and suppliers that have worked and supplied materials for your project have been paid in full before you make a final payment to your contractor. You do not want to find yourself faced with outstanding payments to vendors when you have made all payments in full to the contractor already. Ask your contractor to provide written receipts from all vendors stating that all dues have been cleared.
Make A Final Checklist
Before you make the final payment to the contractor follow a written checklist to tick off all items that the contractor was hired to complete. A checklist will help you make sure that nothing is pending, for instance check the quality of finished workmanship, that all warranties for merchandise used as well as work performed are provided in writing, are up to date and in order, trash, tools and construction waste have been cleared from the site, excess construction materials are either returned to the supplier for a refund or handed over to you. Finally, draw up a receipt for the contractor to sign when receiving the final payment and add it to your records.