November 2018

Working with Contractors

Hiring contractors can be a bit intimidating for homeowners so we are here to help!

 How do we find the best contractor? How do we know when to pay them for the work? What goes into a contract? Are they using the right methods/materials for my home? 

These questions and more come up when homeowners are planning projects for their home. They want to be sure that their home will be taken care of by a contractor that knows what they are doing and will complete the project correctly and safely. To have the best experience with a contractor working on a home, homeowners should make sure to have clear contracts that include the payment schedule, a detailed list of materials, information about warranties, daily clean-up procedures, and post the necessary permits on-site. Homeowners should ask contractors about the insurance they carry, what projects like theirs the contractor has completed, and call the references. Both the homeowners and the contractors need to be transparent in what work is going to be done and the cost. If there is a change in the contract, a written change order is needed.

Through the Heritage Home Program we can assist homeowners in reviewing contractor bids and estimates, give recommendations on repair and guidance on materials, supplies, and resources. The Heritage Home Loan includes a third-party review of the quality of the project and assists homeowners in communications with their contractors. In the contracts drawn up through the Heritage Home Loan, we require contractors to create a daily checklist for tidying up, ensure the use of drop cloths on carpet and furniture when painting, and that the contractors fully clean the site after the project is completed. 
We have a two-page “Hiring a Contractor” information sheet with tips and advice for homeowners and a one-page “Contractor Best Practices” information sheet available for your homeowners. 
Just ask and we can send the information your way!